- Paperback: 600 pages
- Publisher: The Golden Sufi Center; First Edition edition (April 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1890350095
- ISBN-13: 978-1890350093
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 45 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Reality Paperback – April 1, 2004
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"This book is a journey back to the source -- not only of western civilization but, more importantly, to the source within you. Read it! To understand it is to be transformed." --Eckhart Tolle, author, The Power of Now
"There are few writers today you must read. Peter Kingsley is one of them. With absolute clarity he writes about the most challenging issues, and at the same time is inspiring in the most ancient sense: filling us with spirit and hope. His words will change the way you imagine your life." --Thomas Moore, author, Care of the Soul and Dark Nights of the Soul
"Peter Kingsley is a successor to Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. His lectures and writings -- especially his latest book, Reality -- reveal hidden dimensions of consciousness and how it manifests in the world. His message conveys hope and meaning, and reveals majestic qualities of the mind we have forgotten and which have been ignored by Western 'authorities' for centuries. Peter Kingsley is a transformative and life-changing force in our world. Never have we needed such a message as now." --Larry Dossey, M.D., author, Healing Beyond the Body, Reinventing Medicine, and Healing Words
"This epochal work is not only a seminal study of the origins of Western thought. It also is a guide for the rediscovery of truths which lie hidden in the souls and minds of men and women today -- and which urgently need to be brought to light in a world groping in so much spiritual and intellectual darkness. It seeks nothing less than to reveal the original nature of Western philosophy in its true, but long forgotten, sense. And through doing so it forces contemporary human beings to reexamine what it means to be human." --Seyyed Hossein Nasr, author, Knowledge and the Sacred and Religion and the Order of Nature
"With its startling blend of spiritual passion and the bold vision of a consummate scholar, this remarkable book invites us -- even to the point of demanding us -- to open our eyes to the unseen realities nourishing the ancient roots of our civilization. Of even more importance, it invites us to the great work of opening ourselves to the mystical reality that is calling from within to each and every one of us." --Jacob Needleman, author, The Heart of Philosophy and The American Soul
"Peter Kingsley is probably the only person alive who understands the Presocratics." --Richard Smoley, author, The Dice Game of Shiva and Forbidden Faith
About the Author
Peter Kingsley, PhD, is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking work on the origins of western spirituality, philosophy and culture. Through his writings as well as lectures he speaks straight to the heart and has helped to transform many people's understanding not only of the past, but of who they are. He is the author of five books which together have exerted the profoundest and most far-reaching influence outside as well as inside academia: Ancient Philosophy, Mystery and Magic (1995); In the Dark Places of Wisdom (1999); Reality (2004); A Story Waiting to Pierce You (2010); and most recently Catafalque (2018). He has worked together not only with Native American elders and western spiritual teachers but also with many of the most prominent figures in the fields of classics and anthropology, philosophy and religious studies, ancient civilizations and the history of both healing and science. His latest book on Carl Jung brings his work full circle, connecting his researches into the distant past with the crisis of the modern world. He is the recipient of numerous academic awards and holds honorary professorships or fellowships at universities in Canada, the United Kingdom and United States. For further information, visit peterkingsley.org
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He goes on to say that scholars have misunderstood their teachings, and offers plenty of evidence in prolific notes at the back to justify his claims.
The primary aim of the book is to guide the reader through the poems written by Parmenides and Empedocles. Peter offers not only a new translation of the texts based on knowledge of Greek, but guides us to their esoteric meanings, in the hope that these will influence the seeker in a way to help them to come to a realization of Truth or Reality as he calls it.
Peter offers the view that these two were teachers in a long line of esoteric teachers whose access to higher understanding started even before the Greeks; came through the Greeks, to the Egyptians, then the Romans and others, then to Islam where it is currently embodied in Sufism. Today Sufism has a Western component as well as the Islamic version. However, some organizations are genuine, some are not.
For me, it was a thoroughly good read, even if a little long at 559 pages not including the notes! I would recommend the book to those who are seeking either to get some direction in their spiritual search, or to those who are interested in the above two characters, and need fresh insight into their teachings.
The incubation process as transporter to another world is an experiential one, and like many who have turned to the arts when having difficulty in the translation of experiences that lie outside the parameters of our consensus reality, Parmenides turned to poetry to faithfully portray and animate this inner world. But his poem was not simply to be appreciated for its clever prose and beautiful form. Instead it provided an enticing invitation to the reader to share the experience that bore it and heed it's challenge to Truth.
Centuries have passed, and the invitation lay unanswered.
Enter Peter Kingsley, an accomplished, credentialed scholar who has managed no small miracle - to bring these ancient mystical experiences into a modern day consciousness. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that Kingsley takes our modern-day consciousness to the ancient mystical world of Parmenides.
Regardless, it is a powerful cultural exchange.
This book is revolutionary in it's bold mastery of that feat alone as evidenced by the stir it has caused among Kingsley's academic peers. He adheres to the proper dress code by donning the cloak of academic acceptibility through extensive research, a hefty bibliography and a broad historical contextual knowledge of cultural influences that animate Parmenides' world.
Yet Kingsley's revelations do not seem entirely of this world.
They instead seem to have been born of the deep conviction and heartfelt dedication to Truth of one who must surely have bridged this gaping hole in our philosophical/mystical lineage through his own incubation-like experiences, however brief his glimpse behind the veil. And perhaps this, more than academic credentials imparts the powerfully transcendent Truth that resonates throughout his thesis.
At least it seems unlikely that Kingsley's vantage point could have been achieved simply by intellectual means - through research alone - no matter how comprehensive the material or insightful the interpretation.
Given that our culture's topsy-turvy academic criteria for establishing Truth does not value such experiences in it's formulation, but instead relies on separation from experience, an objectification that is untarnished by the imperfections of our common humanity, it would seem unlikely that any academically trained author would call attention to this 'imperfection'. But the folly belongs to those who assume such a separation could provide a reliable reflection of Truth, let alone be achievable within the natural laws which bind us all.
If this hunch about Kingley's experiences is correct then there may be important implications in the very existence of Reality (the book) for our culture. I wonder if such a book could have been written and received without a broad experience in common with Parmenides and his connection to divine consciousness?
If, in order to reap the benefits of Kingsley's writings, one must first hold a similar vantage - at least some awareness derived of experiential knowledge that provides the foundation upon which Kingley's interpretations can take root and illuminate the ancient precident laid out by Parmenides - then who is his audience?
The book is clearly not meant for those who measure the unmeasurable with leaden weights and circular intellects.
In that context this is the most encouraging and remarkable revelation of all! Kingsley's revelatory interpretations of ancient text and poems could not have been so well received within the collective were its message unrecognizable. Instead it has struck a chord in empathetic resonance with a shared and transcendent knowledge.
So perhaps despite itself our culture has, in however limited or clumsy a way, made itself ready to at last receive this dormant seed. Perhaps we have, in subtle and imperceptible ways, been fertilizing an inner landscape made barren by centuries of neglect and ignorance. Lands that can nurture closer union with divine consciousness through the careful cultivation of the inner stillness at the core of the process described by Parmenides and the embrace of holistic principles within a non-dualistic reality. Kingley's work seems to offer an important confirmation of this readiness, while providing a reunion with our profoundest roots. He is an Alex Haley for the colorless intellect in search of a soul.
Could it be that Kingsley has provided 'empirical proof' that our inheritance survives still in a centuries old seed?