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The Twelfth InsightThe Hour of Decision
By Redfield, James
Grand Central PublishingCopyright © 2011 Redfield, James
All right reserved.
I turned onto the freeway and hit cruise control, trying to ease up a bit. There was plenty of time to meet Wil at the airport. So I forced myself to relax and take in the autumn sunshine and the rolling southern hills. Not to mention the flocks of crows slinking along the shoulders of the highway.
The crows, I knew, were a good sign, even if I had been battling with them all summer. In folklore, their presence indicates mystery and an impending rendezvous with one’s own destiny. Some say they will even lead you to such a moment, if you chance to follow them long enough.
Unfortunately, they will also show up in the early mornings to eat the young pea plants in your backyard garden—unless, of course, you make a deal. They laugh at scarecrows and shotguns. But if you give them their own row of plants near the forest, they will tend to leave the rest alone.
Just then, a single crow flew over the car and out in front of me. Then turned completely around and headed back the way I’d come. I tried to follow it in the rearview mirror, but all I could see was a dark blue SUV about a hundred yards back.
Thinking nothing of the vehicle, I continued to watch the scenery, taking in a deep breath and hitting another level of relaxation. A road trip, I thought, nothing like it. I wondered how many people, in how many places, were experiencing this exact kind of moment—getting away from the stress of an unsure world, just to see what might happen.
Only, in my case, I was also looking for something. For months now, I had been running into total strangers all talking about the same thing: the secret release of an old, unnamed Document. Supposedly, it had come from a coalition representing the world’s religious traditions, and word of it was already widespread, at least among those with an ear for such things. Yet no one seemed to have any details. Rumor had it that it was now being released ahead of schedule, out of necessity.
For me, the rumors were both intriguing and slightly humorous. The idea of a coalition among the religious traditions was hardly new, but it had always proven to be all but impossible in reality. The differences in beliefs were just too great. And in the end, each tradition wanted to prevail over the others.
In fact, I had been ready to dismiss the rumors when something else had occurred: I received a fax from Wil. He sent me two translated pages, ostensibly from this old Document. In the margin of the first page was a notation in Wil’s handwriting saying, “This has both Hebrew and Arabic origins.”
As I read the pages, it seemed to be a treatment of modern times, proclaiming that something important was going to begin in the second decade of the twenty-first century. I grimaced at the date, thinking it might be one more end-of-the-world prophecy—another in a long line of doomsday predictions misinterpreting everything from the Mayan Calendar to Nostradamus to Revelation. All shouting to the ends of the Earth: “Haven’t you heard, the world is ending in 2012!”
For years now, the media had been pushing the “end times” scenario, and people, though worried, also seemed deeply intrigued. The big question was why? What could be causing this fascination? Is it just the excitement over being alive at the precise time the Mayan Calendar is scheduled to end? Or was it something else? Maybe, just maybe, our fascination with the end revealed a latent intuition, increasingly noticeable, that something better was about to be born.
The more I read of Wil’s fax, the more the pages began to carry a kind of numinous attraction. The style was upbeat and vaguely familiar in some way, and the authentic tone was confirmed when I saw a second notation from Wil on the last page. “This came from a friend,” he had scribbled. “It’s for real.”
I looked over at the very same fax pages lying on the passenger seat beside me. Light from the afternoon sun flickered over them. Wil’s written comment, I knew, meant that the original was, at least in his mind, well founded—and probably extended the message of what had always been his singular obsession: the old Celestine Prophecy that had been discovered in Peru.
The thought spawned a flood of memories as I recalled how quickly word of the First Nine Insights of this Prophecy had circulated around the planet. Why? Because they made sense in a world too shallow and materialistic. The message of this Prophecy was clear. Being spiritual is more than merely believing in some deity in the abstract. It entails the discovery of another, entirely different dimension of life, one that operates solely in a spiritual manner.
Once one makes this discovery, one realizes the universe is filled with all sorts of fortuitous encounters, intuitions, and mysterious coincidences, all pointing to a higher purpose behind our lives, and in fact, behind all of human history. The only question, then, for the seeker who wakes up to this reality is how does this mysterious world really operate, and how does one begin to engage its secrets.
In those days, I knew, something had popped in human consciousness and had led directly to two more Insights: a Tenth and Eleventh. The Tenth delved into the mystery of the Afterlife and chronicled a decadelong focus on Heaven and its inhabitants, forever dispelling, along the way, an age-old repression of death and what happens afterward. Once that block was lifted, an exploration of everything spiritual seemed to begin.
Quickly came the next Insight: the Eleventh, born of a collective knowing that we are all here to participate in some as yet undefined agenda—a Plan of some kind. It involved the discovery of how to manifest our deepest dreams and to lift the world to its ideal. In the years that followed, this intuition grew into all sorts of theories about Secrets and Prayer Power and Laws of Attraction, theories that seemed right but not quite complete.
Those theories, I knew, brought us up to recent times and lasted until the material bottom fell out from under all of us—in the form of a worldwide financial collapse. After that, we faced more immediate matters, such as personal solvency and not letting the doomsayers take us too far into fear. We were still awake, and we still wanted more spiritual answers. But from then on, those answers had to be practical as well. They had to work in the real world, no matter how mysterious that world turned out to be.
I felt a smile coming up…. How interesting that Wil had found these writings now. He had long predicted the emergence of another Insight, the Twelfth—which he felt would signal a final revelation for humanity, picking up where the Eleventh had left off. I wondered, would the Twelfth finally show us how to “live” this spiritual knowledge at a greater level? Would this change begin to usher in this new, more ideal world we seemed to sense was coming?
I knew we would have to wait and see. Wil had said only to meet him at the airport and from there we would head to Cairo, if it worked out. If it worked out? What did he mean by that?
A deer dashing across the freeway broke my rumination, and I tapped the brakes to slow down. The big doe ran full speed across six lanes and jumped the fence on the other side. A deer was also a good sign, a symbol of attention and alertness.
As I looked out at the hills then, their fall colors now bathed in the light of an amber-tinted sunset, I realized I felt exactly that way: more alert and alive. All these thoughts had somehow induced a greater energy level in me, lifting me to a place where I was attending to every detail—the sunset, the landscape whizzing by, the thoughts entering my mind—as though everything was suddenly more important somehow.
Another huge smile spontaneously erupted. This was a state of mind I’d experienced many times before. And every time it happened, it caught me totally by surprise—surprise in one way over its sudden occurrence, and in another way over why I had ever lost it in the first place, it seemed so right and natural.
There were many names for this experience—the Zone, Heightened Perception, and my favorite, Synchronistic Flow—all names seeking to capture its central characteristic: a sudden elevation in one’s experience, wherein we transcend the ordinary and find a higher meaning in the flow of events. This Synchronistic perception “centers” us in some way and feels beyond what could be expected from pure chance—as though a higher “destiny” is unfolding.
Suddenly, a building coming up on the right caught my eye. It was a little sports bar called the Pub that Wil had pointed out years ago as having good eats and homemade pies. I had passed it many times but had never stopped. Plenty of time now, I thought. Why not grab a bite here and avoid the airport food? I took the exit and headed down the ramp. The SUV behind me also took the turn.
After parking under a gigantic oak tree in the fading light, I walked inside, finding the place full of people. Couples talked around the bar, and families with kids ate casually at six or seven tables in the middle of the room. My eyes immediately fixed on two women sitting at a table against the far wall. They were leaning toward each other and talking intensely. As I made my way in that direction, I noticed a small table open beside them.
When I sat down, the younger of the two women glanced at me for a moment and then turned back to her friend.
“The First Integration,” she said, “suggests there’s a way to keep the Synchronicity going. But I don’t have all of the Document. More of these writings exist somewhere. I have to find them.”
My energy surged again. Was she talking about the same Document? The woman speaking was wearing jeans and comfortable hiking shoes, and around her neck was draped a multicolored scarf. As she spoke, she kept pushing her blonde, tapered bangs behind her ears. I caught the faint scent of rose perfume.
As I watched her, I felt an odd attraction, which shocked me. She looked around instinctively and caught me staring, making deep eye contact. I quickly turned away. When I glanced back, a short, stocky man walked up to her table, surprising the two women and creating a round of smiles and hugs. The woman with the scarf gave him several typed pages, which he silently read. I pretended to look over the menu as I waited, sensing all the more that something important was happening.
“Why are you going to Arizona?” the man asked.
“Because it keeps coming to mind, over and over again,” she replied. “I have to go with it.”
I listened intently. All of the people at the table seemed to be at the same level of flow that I was.
“I have to understand why my mother contacted me,” the woman continued. “These writings are going to tell me. I know it.”
“So you’re leaving right away?” the man asked.
“Yes, tonight,” she replied.
“Just follow your intuition,” the man interjected. “Synchronicity seems to be happening for you. But be careful. Who knows who’s looking for this information?”
I couldn’t stand it any longer. I was about to say something to them when a large, muscular man at a table near mine mumbled, “What a crock!”
“W-w-what?” I stammered.
He nodded toward the women and whispered, “What they’re saying. What a bunch of bull!”
For a moment, I didn’t know how to respond. He was tall and about forty-five, with unruly brown hair and a frown on his face, leaning toward me in his chair.
He shook his head. “This is going to be the death of our civilization, this kind of magical thinking.”
Jeez, I thought, a skeptic. I didn’t have time for this.
He was reading my face. “What? You agree with them?”
I just looked away, trying to hear what the woman was saying, but he scooted his chair closer.
“Intuition is a myth!” he said firmly. “It’s been disproved many times. Thoughts are just nerve firings in the brain reflecting whatever you think you know about your environment. And Doctor Jung’s crap about Synchronicity is just the act of seeing what you want to see in the random events of the world. I know. I’m a scientist.”
He grinned slightly, seemingly pleased that he knew the origin of the theory of Synchronicity. I, on the other hand, was getting more irritated.
“Look,” I said, “I’d rather not talk about it.”
I turned to listen again but it was too late. The woman and her friends were up and walking toward the door. The skeptic gave me a smirk and then got up and walked out as well. I thought about following them but decided against it, concerned I’d look like a stalker or something. I sat back down. The moment had been lost.
As I sat there, I knew the energy I had marshaled in the car had totally vanished. I now felt flat and uninspired. I even pondered, fleetingly, whether the skeptic might be correct in his assessment, but quickly shook off the idea. Too much had occurred in my life for me to believe that now. More likely, what I thought had happened, had happened. I was on the verge of finding out more about the Document when I was bushwhacked by the bane of my life: a skeptic out to debunk everything spiritual.
I might have gone on in my funk had I not suddenly noticed an individual staring at me from the corner of the room near the door. He was dressed in a brown leather jacket and had short hair. A pair of sunglasses hung from his shirt pocket. When our eyes met, he stepped behind a group of people bunched up at the bar.
Carefully, I looked around the room and caught two more people looking at me, all dressed in varying casual attire but sporting the same monotonal stare. They also looked away when I saw them.
Great, I thought. These were professional operatives of some kind. I got up and eased toward the restroom. None of them reacted. Walking past it down a small hallway, I found what I was hoping for, a back door. I walked out to the poorly lit parking lot, seeing no one. Then, as I got closer to my vehicle, a figure ducked behind a panel truck. When I started walking again, the person began to walk as well, angling to cut me off.
I stopped and he stopped, and then I saw something familiar in his posture. It was Wil! When I got to him, he pulled me down and looked back at the Pub.
“What are you into here, my friend?” he asked in his customary half-humorous tone.
“I don’t know,” I blurted. “I saw several people watching me inside. What are you doing here, Wil?”
I noticed for the first time that he was carrying a large trekking backpack.
He nodded toward my vehicle. “I’ll tell you later. That’s your Cruiser, right? Let’s get out of here. I’ll drive.”
As we entered the automobile, I looked over at the far end of the parking lot and spotted the woman with the scarf standing with several others. Shockingly, one was the skeptic.
I wanted to continue watching, but I saw something beyond them that startled me even more. The blue SUV I had noticed behind me earlier was parked a hundred feet away, near a back fence. Even at this distance, I could see two men sitting in the front seats.
I grimaced. I should have known.
As I watched behind us, Wil drove us to the freeway and turned north. No one seemed to be following.
“Why did you come here to the Pub?” I asked again.
“Just a hunch,” he said. “I didn’t know how else I could find you. I began to see people watching me, too, so I didn’t want to use a cell. A friend was driving me to the airport, and I remembered this place and thought you might have stopped. When we found your car, I had him drop me off.”
He looked closely at me. “What about you? Why did you decide to stop here?”
“I saw the Pub from the freeway and remembered you pointing it out. I thought it would be a good place to grab some food….”
He smiled at me knowingly. We both knew it was pure Synchronicity. As I looked at him, I noticed that he had aged well in the past few years since I had seen him. There were more lines in his tanned face, but his movements and voice made him seem like a man much younger. His eyes still sparkled with alertness.
“There are more people looking for this document than I thought,” he mused. “Better tell me everything that’s happened to you.”
As we traveled north, I relayed all of it: the ideas that came to me while driving, the blue SUV, the sudden flow of Synchronicity, and every detail of what I’d experienced at the pub—especially the part where the skeptic brought me down and the men were observing me.
When I finished, I didn’t wait for him to comment. I asked him about the surveillance.
“I don’t know who they are,” he said. “I started to have the feeling I was being observed a few days ago. Then yesterday, I saw one or two of them at a distance. They’re very good.”
I nodded, feeling nervous. I lifted the pages of translation by my leg and asked, “Who sent this to you?”
“A friend who lives in Egypt,” Wil replied, “one of the foremost experts in ancient texts. I’ve known him a long time, and when we talked by phone he said it’s unquestionably authentic and probably dates back to the fourth or fifth century. He was sent only the first part of the Document, already translated, but he thinks it refers to our current time period, just like the old Prophecy did.”
We exchanged glances.
“There’s more,” Wil continued. “The Document says we’re in some kind of a race here. My friend said these fragments are popping up all over the world. Apparently, whoever is releasing this Document is sending selected parts to various people with some end in mind. That’s all I know. My friend and I were disconnected in the middle of the call. I haven’t been able to reach him since.”
My mind was abuzz. The woman I saw at the Pub had a part of the Document and was going to Arizona. But where in Arizona? Was she in danger? Were we?
The reality of the situation was sinking in. The Document was fascinating, but we had just seen that someone official also had an interest as well. Were they trying to restrict access to it? How far would they go? A pang of fear rushed through me.
“Well, I guess our trip to Egypt is off,” I said, looking for humor.
Wil grinned for a moment. “I had a feeling we might be going somewhere else.”
Suddenly, he looked hard into the rearview mirror. Behind us was another SUV, a long way back.
“I think this one’s following us,” he said.
At this point Wil began a series of strategic moves. First, he asked to borrow my smart phone and pulled up the map of the local area, turned the phone off, and pulled out the battery. Then he slowed down, which made the SUV slow down as well in order to keep its distance behind us. After a minute, Will quickly sped up, a move that opened a lot more space between us and the SUV and allowed Wil to take the next exit unseen.
He took an immediate right onto a small paved road, then a left onto a gravel road that I knew wouldn’t have been on the map.
“How did you know about this road?” I asked.
He shot me a look but said nothing. The old road was full of potholes and ruts, but it eventually led to another paved road that in turn took us back to the freeway again, about five miles farther north. When we hit the ramp it became clear that the freeway behind us was completely backed up. We could see blue lights and a fire truck parked at the point of congestion.
Wil sped down the ramp and onto what was an almost empty road. Everyone else behind us, including those in the SUV, was completely blocked.
I was staring at Wil. In the past I had seen him do many things, but nothing this rapid.
“How did you know to make all those turns?” I asked.
He looked at me and asked in return, “How did you know to stop at the Pub so that we could connect with each other later?”
“Okay,” I acknowledged. “Intuition. But what you did seemed so fast. I’ve never done anything like that.”
Light from the oncoming cars swept over his face. “I’ve been talking to people who have seen different parts of this Document. It describes many abilities humans haven’t developed yet. That’s what this Document seems to be all about. Each part is devoted to what it calls the ‘Integration’ of spiritual knowledge, and it refers directly to the insights of the old Prophecy.”
“Wait a minute,” I said. “That would mean the author of this Document, whoever it was, had to have known about the Prophecy, way back then.”
“Yeah.” I think it’s some kind of companion piece, like a guide. My friend said there are eleven parts of this Document floating around out there, each devoted to a particular Integration of knowledge. And it talks about a Twelfth….”
“It reveals what the Twelfth Insight is?” I asked.
“Apparently, but no one seems to have that part yet, or at least no one is talking about it. The Document says that each Integration must be actualizd in order, one after the other, beginning with the First: learning to sustain Synchronicity.”
He paused and looked at me, adding, “That has always been a problem.”
I knew what he was getting at. Everyone glimpses Synchronicity. The challenge, just as in my case, was to sustain the experience and keep the flow going. Of all the difficulties with Synchronicity, this was the one most people voiced. Synchronistic experience seemed to come into our lives almost as a tease, stay a while, and then end.
Turning around, I gazed behind us again to check the road, finding it still clear. I remained nervous.
“I’m not sure I want to get involved with this Document, Wil. It may be too dangerous.”
He nodded. “What do you want to do?”
“I want to go to a police station and get these people off of us. Maybe I can help get the word out after the contents are known.”
“What if that doesn’t happen? And the Twelfth is never found?”
I looked at him and smiled. We’d been though a lot in the past, and Wil had never steered me wrong. I wanted to hear what he had to say.
“Look,” he continued. “All that we’ve discovered, the whole search for the truth about spiritual experience, it may be coming down to this moment. You decide, but at least let me tell you what’s at stake.”
Wil slowed the car and exited the freeway, saying he wanted to concentrate. He noticed a little side road just off the ramp and backed in and turned the lights off.
“The Document speaks very directly,” he began. “It says that during the current period of history, the easy material life will get harder, with widespread financial and social disruption. Yet it proclaims that all the challenges are evoking an even greater spiritual awakening in us, where we can realize many new abilities and perceptions.
“But each of us has to make a decision. Will we embrace this deeper spirituality, or go into fear and foreboding? It is a challenge of courage, but also of practicality. In some sense, events are forcing us to put our beliefs into action. The only way to survive the level of turmoil we are facing in the world is to pursue life in a different way.
“It says the first ability that will manifest is our being able to sustain Synchronistic Flow. When the mysterious coincidences come more frequently, we’ll eventually learn that we are guided, even protected, from the dangers of this historical period.”
He paused and caught my eye in the dim light. “There’s more. The Document says that those of us, early on, who discover how to sustain this flow and integrate this knowledge will make it easier for others to open up to it later, just because of the influence we have.
“But on the other hand, if too many of us fail to move forward in this regard, the knowledge might not be actualized at all and could be lost to history.”
“It says that?”
“Yes, exactly that.”
He smiled at me in a sympathetic way.
“That’s how important it is,” he continued. “Yet we all have to make our own individual choices.”
“Tell me more.”
“The Document focuses on the Synchronistic experience first,” Wil continued, “because it is the phenomenon that leads each of us forward. If we make this experience more consistent, then we realize our lives are trying to take off in a destined direction. We feel more alive.”
Exactly, I thought. More alive. I’d used that exact expression earlier to describe my own experience. And because I had just been thinking of the release of the Document, I knew the meeting was beyond chance when I saw the women and heard their conversation. I was meant to be there somehow. Then, of course, the skeptic appeared and the experience was lost. I could feel my energy drop even now, just thinking about it.
Wil seemed to notice. “When we enter a flow of Synchronicity, clarity and aliveness is what we get. When we fall out of the flow, it is what we lose.
“The point is, we have the opportunity now to finally reach a higher clarity about not just the phenomenon of Synchronicity, but also about our entire spiritual nature. And if we don’t, then all our futures, and the futures of our children, could go in an entirely different direction.”
He paused as a car moved along the road in front of us. It passed us and seemed to be of no concern.
“So the idea is this: we find the pieces of this Document, one at a time. Each part builds upon the previous one, so they integrate seamlessly together, yielding both a greater understanding and a higher consciousness, and all these new abilities.
“The Document says when we integrate all eleven, we get the final download: the Twelfth. After that, we’ll understand not just the full picture of spirituality in this life, but we’ll be able live it most of the time.”
Another car went by.
“But again,” Wil continued, “the First Integration gets the whole thing going, because it involves learning how to stay in the flow of Synchronicity that will lead us forward.”
“What does it say about staying in Synchronistic Flow?” I asked.
“It says all we have to do is learn to remember.”
“That this flow is possible! That it exists! In the past, when you first read the Insights of the Prophecy, and we were all thinking and talking about Synchronicity, didn’t it seem to happen a lot? Well, that was literally because we had the expectation of it in mind. That’s all it takes. All you have to do is remember to remember.”
I had to think about this for a moment. Was it that simple? Earlier, as I was driving to the Pub, I certainly let go and began thinking about the reality of Synchronicity. And yes, I suddenly fell right into it.
“In practice,” Wil clarified, “it boils down to consciously expecting the next Synchronicity to come, which means we should go into a posture of ‘expectant alertness,’ a mood that’s not that easy right now, because we always think we’re behind, with too much to do. But staying in this state of alertness helps us immediately, because it has the effect of ‘slowing down’ time.”
I knew that was exactly true. Anytime you are expecting something and want it to hurry up and happen, it takes forever to arrive. Time does seem to slow down.
“Slowing down time is a good thing right now,” he added, “because so many of us feel overwhelmed by problems coming at us at light speed. The more we can slow everything down—and wait on a Synchronistic event to show us the way—the easier life is to handle.
“So, to begin, we have to put a sticky note on the bathroom mirror, or tell a friend to call us first thing in the morning, anything to remind ourselves to set up an expectation for Synchronicity first thing each day. Eventually, it becomes a habit. And once all the mysterious coincidences are happening and our destiny seems to be unfolding, all that is left is to stay in that flow.”
He paused dramatically.
“And to do that,” he went on, “we have to learn to communicate what’s going on with us to others.”
“Think about what happens when we lose the Flow,” he explained. “Doesn’t it occur because we hit some situation where we have to interact with others who aren’t in a flow, and who can’t readily see the meanings we are seeing? The effect is to knock us out of it altogether.”
I thought about what happened to me with the skeptic. It was certainly true in that case.
“When I’m in the flow,” I said, “I usually try to get away from most people, so they can’t knock me out of it.”
“I know,” Wil said in a mock accusatory tone.
“Are you saying,” I asked, “that I should have taken the time to talk with that skeptic, even though that’s not what I wanted to do?”
“No, I’m suggesting that you should have been open and truthful with him, maybe asking him to wait a minute while you talked to the people at the table. He was needling you, but you didn’t lose your flow because of him. You lost it because you didn’t find a way to honestly communicate who you were and what you were doing.”
“I don’t think he was interested in hearing anything from me.”
“You’re missing the point. I’m not telling you to defend yourself or to convince him of anything. You just have to give him the truth of the situation as you see it, with the main purpose being to keep yourself centered in the flow. If he’d walked away or thought you were rude, so be it, but you would have held your flow.”
Again he paused dramatically, then said, “And by handling it that way, you would have also stayed open to whether he had some information for you! You know from the old Prophecy in Peru that you must treat his perceived interruption not as a threat but as a potential Synchronicity itself—in the long run, perhaps being of equal importance to what you were learning from the woman.”
The reminder both jolted and invigorated me at the same time. If I was getting all this right, then telling the truth of one’s situation, whatever it happened to be, kept the flow going—and primarily because it kept one centered in the clarity of one’s own deeper life experience. Again, I had to question whether it could be this simple.
When I voiced the question to Wil, he chuckled and said, “It’s as simple and as hard as that. And if you want to follow through with finding the Integrations, you have to start by concentrating on telling the absolute truth, to yourself and others, about what is happening to you—no matter how esoteric it gets.”
As I continued to think, Wil started the car and pulled onto the freeway again. After a short distance, he moved into the left lane to avoid a car parked on the right shoulder. Inside was the silhouette of a lone driver. Light flickered across his face.
“That’s him!” I stammered, not quite believing it. “The skeptic at the Pub. That’s him.”
Wil looked back. “Are you sure?”
As we watched, the man pulled onto the freeway and took the first exit he came to. Wil glanced questioningly at me.
“What?” I asked.
“You look like you’re more in the flow now. Perhaps you’re being given another chance.”
“You mean to talk with him?”
“Well,” Wil said, looking at the dash, “you wanted to know where the woman you saw was going. And you said he was talking to her in the parking lot. We need gas, so we could go back and find him.”
I looked at Wil and nodded, not exactly liking it. “Okay, I’m in. But I’m not sure I’ll know what to say to this guy.”
“Just tell him the truth,” Wil said, “that you believe meaningful coincidences are real, and occur for a reason… and this is the second time you’ve crossed paths with him.”
Excerpted from The Twelfth Insight by Redfield, James Copyright © 2011 by Redfield, James. Excerpted by permission.
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