A Visit With Dr. Catherine Ponder about James Redfield
A Visit With Dr. Catherine Ponder about James Redfield
In the New Thought movement, I have heard the statement, "There are no coincidences in Spirit." James Redfield, in his best-selling book, The Celestine Prophecy, and continuing through other books to The Secret of Shambhala, writes about the power of intuition and divine coincidences to guide our lives. He stresses the power of staying centered in a quiet, listening, prayerful consciousness that energizes and uplifts us; then follow the guidance that comes.
We have long known that the word intuition means inner teacher. I personally, as have so many New Thought students, have lived by intuition most of my life. It was when I strayed from those inner feelings that I got into trouble. People have often shaken their heads over some of the things I quietly did, rarely explaining my inner guidance to anybody. Later, that guidance would prove to have been just the way for me to go. Most New Thought students could cite their own intuitive experiences that brought victory.
At the INTA banquet, held at a 2000 Congress in San Antonio, Texas, James Redfield was scheduled to be the banquet speaker and to receive a Humanitarian Award, which he richly deserved. Since his books have been published, he and his wife, Salle, have traveled the world spreading the good word about the spiritual age we are now entering, thanks to our growing awareness and use of intuition.
When a friend, whom I first knew while serving Unity Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1950's, found out that James Redfield was in the INTA program, she wrote me very excitedly of all the things she wanted me to tell him.
She had known his father, who had had an art studio in the same building where she had worked. Although I would not have remembered it if she had not pointed it out to me, we had, at times, had lunch with the senior Mr. Redfield at a tea room in that building complex, along with other workers there. She reminded me that she had first introduced me to Jim's father in his art studio, and I began to have a vague recollection of that happening, more than forty years ago.
She then proceeded to tell me all the messages she wanted me to convey to Jim Redfield when I met him at the INTA Congress. I wrote her back, "Forget it, Jim Redfield is a superstar among writers and lecturers. He'll be mobbed and I'll never be able to get within a Texas mile of him. But I suggest you write him of that connection. I expect that would be the quickest way to get to this top of the New York Times best-seller list author."
She wrote me back, ignoring everything I had said; and still insisted I would have an opportunity to visit, even briefly with James Redfield in San Antonio. I dismissed the matter, knowing there was no point in arguing with my determined friend of long ago.
The night of the San Antonio INTA banquet, Dr. Anne Kunath, and long-time friend and Chairman of the Convention, met me outside the festively decorated ballroom prior to the banquet and escorted me and the others with me to a table, where she seated me slightly ahead of time.
Suddenly, Dr. Kunath returned to our table and quietly seated someone next to me. It was James Redfield and his beautiful wife Salle! After catching my breath, I immediately said to him, "I promise not to ask for your autograph, if you promise not to ask for mine," and we were off and running conversation-wise. Talk about divine coincidences. It was enough to make me go home and read all his books again — which I did!
I have a special place in my heart for Birmingham, Alabama, where Jim grew up. His wife was also from that beautiful state. It was at a Sunday service at Unity of Birmingham in the 1950's that I first met Kelly Ponder. His mother, the charming Mrs. William (Mamie) Ponder, had later said to me, "I was the worker at the Unity of Birmingham book tables in the Massey Building when you could put all the Unity books on a card table, from which I sold them. I never dreamed I would one day have a daughter-in-law who had written more books than I could get on that card table." To me, the Ponder family personified all that New Thought teaches.
It's one thing to read about divine coincidences that can come about through the use of intuition, either our own intuition or that of someone else, as in the case of Dr. Kunath. It's quite another to have it happen to you with the author who has alerted the whole world to that great Truth, "There are no coincidences in Spirit."
An INTA Congress is a great place to experience a synchronistic (intuitive, coincidental) event, of which Jim spoke that night during his award-winning ceremony. Meanwhile, as you read or re-read the Redfield books on this fascinating subject, remind yourself that he has studied at the Unity of Birmingham, where Reverend Gerald Bartholomew is his minister and a golfing partner. And that Jim later taught occasional classes there. Thus, his books will be but a review of Truths we have long known and taught in varied forms in the New Thought movement. Isn't wonderful that a fellow truth student and his wife are now helping to spread the age-old Truths that we love so much — world-wide? Thank you, James and Salle Redfield!
(Excerpt from New Thought Magazine - Autumn 2001)
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