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4.20  ·  Rating details ·  161 ratings  ·  27 reviews
"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 of The Power of Now

Reality introduces us to the extraordinary mystical tradition that lies right at the roots of western culture. This is the true story of Parmenides, Empedocles,
Paperback, 1st edition, 591 pages
Published 2003 by The Golden Sufi Center
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Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I had wanted to read this book for a good long while. I borrowed it from the library and found that someone had written on the title page, 'One of those books I've been waiting for my whole life.' In this book Kingsley rereads texts Parmenides and Empedocles as sacred initiatory teachings. No details may be overlooked. It's a magical book about the unlearning of what we know and becoming aware.
Gianni Adragna
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is not a philosophy book

This book is an invitation to your life. And guess what, it's got nothing to do with Lao Tsu, Buddha, new age, hippies and all that. It's coming straight from the epicentre of modern insanity, the land where science was created, and with it the Ipod, the atomic bomb and the telly. All things we could have done without easily
That land is Greece, actually Greek colonies in Italy. This book reveals how the west was deceived by people like Plato and Aristotle. The author
i didnt really read it. waaaaaaaay too pedantic for my tastes. pretty much whenever i try to read philosophy books i think two things. one: Duh; and two: this book could have been two pages long! scholars do like to go on, and on, and on and on and on.... this is a very fat book. but for those who are interested in one person's take on "history" in so much as anyone of modern times can "know" it, i can see how it could be fascinating. to me it is tedious and thoroughly unnecessary. i loved one f ...more
Sep 22, 2014 rated it liked it
My important takeaway is, "Mêtis was the Greek term for cunning, skillfulness,practical intelligence; and especially for trickery. It was what could make humans, at the most basic and down-to-earth level, equal to the gods. Mêtis might sound like jut another concept. But really it was the opposite of everything we understand by concepts. It meant a particular quality of intense awareness that always manages to stay focused on the whole: on the lookout for hints, however subtle, for guidance in w ...more
Todd Brown
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read... before jumping into philosophy, religion, spirituality & history this book excites and may seem a bit otherworldly ~ not down to earth.

Revisiting this masterpiece, after a more mature understanding of the four areas listed above, has opened an entirely new shift in perspective that confirmed the topic, the historical personage & the very roots of modernity to INDEED be 'othetworldly'.

If you allow it to, "REALITY" will inspire an echo of source to manifest in the world o
Nick Pollitt
Apr 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Kingsley identifies the emergence of the Mental Structure in Mediterranean culture ~2500 years ago. The emergence of a rational society, and the fact that the rational structure does not tolerate the existence of previous structures, had led us to forget who we are, underneath our techno-wizardry.

This is a fascinating journey through history and philosophy to examine how we arrived to our modern state from classical times, and is written in a style that is accessible to everyone.
Excellent presentation of one spiritual approach, looking to the ancient Western traditions represented by Parmenides and Empedocles. Highly recommended, though not everyone will get with the unusual authorial voice.
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A book that disturbs, beguiles and illuminates
Jul 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
breaks new ground in the pre-socratic lexicon
faR reaching and thoughtful reflecions on early thought processes
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent overview of the nature of reality and the meaning of Western civilization with in.
May 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The best possible kind of pretentious. Concerns Parmenides and Heraclitus, and their magical powers of being right about everything.
Trevor Luke
Jul 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Very interesting and outrageously pretentious at the same time.
Daniel Rekshan
Reading this book is like setting a stone under running water and hoping to see a change. Water is absolutely different than a stone and this book is absolutely different than anything I've encountered before. I know that when I finish it, my thoughts will change and I will have a better grasp on reality.

The premise is simple: the founders of western thought (pre-Socratic philosophers) were actually shaman and we're ignoring their full legacy by looking only at their logic. The premise is not wh
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
fascinating re-read (or is that 'first accurate read'?) of Empedocles... I had always assumed that it was for political and pecuniary ends in the so-called Renaissance and subsequent - equally misnamed 'Age of Reason' that the Western World had gone awry, but - along with his 'Ancient Philosophy, Mystery and Magic' and his read of Parmenides in 'In the The Dark Places of Wisdom' - if Kingsley is even half way right, we've been completely off the track for far longer than that.
Dec 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
I think this book could have been half as long if he would have concentrated on exploring his take on Parmenides and Empedocles and the sophists, instead of spending so much time ragging on the philosophers who didn't 'get' it, but I DID enjoy his take on it, and found it thought provoking and in line with what makes sense for the changes in human cosciousness going on at that time.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A delightful adventure into ones self and imagination.
Trevor Luke
Sep 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Always an interesting read. Certainly a formidable scholar. But, frankly, isn't this a touch pretentious? I mean really, with a title like "Reality" the criticism has some merit.
Kirsten Walz
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating. Beautiful. Didn't want it to end!
Erich Smith
Very interesting read. I was intrigued by the authors premise that Western civ originally had a much higher spiritual purpose for coming into being.
Mark Derderian
Sep 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
An interesting interpretation of the wisdom teachings of Parmenides, very much coeval with some of the wisdom teachcings of vajrayana Buddhism.
Neelesh Marik
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a book primarily about métis, which is a Greek term for skillfulness, cunning, practical intelligence and above all, trickery.

It shows how deception is baked into the holo-fractal structure of reality in the interplay between the relative and the absolute, and teaches us to be able to see the whole world as illusion and still function in it as if it is real.

The author’s style of writing (though often tedious and circumlocutory) keeps us on the razor’s edge between anxiety and complacency
Zwei Punkte, weil vieles des hier Geschriebenen etwas Wahres hat. Sicher ist die philosophische Geschichtsschreibung und das heutige Fach Philosophie eine merkwürdige, post-christlich-rationlistische Angelegenheit und die Möglichkeiten, antike Philosophie zu deuten, entsprechend weiter. Auch ist seine Deutung interessant, vielleicht garnicht soweit hergelholt.

Aber: Mr. Kingsley ergeht sich in einem widerlichen, altväterlichen Schlaumeierton, der den Leser andauernd belehrt, anstatt bescheiden e
Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it
If this book was 50 pages I would have given it 5 stars.
When I first read it, I got so frustrated with the stop/start flow of actual information and back into high verbosity, that I committed book sacrilege.
I bought a second copy and used a yellow highlighter to underline any paragraphs of actual teaching.
I read and reread that one several times. It has been a few years now however and I am planning to read the un-desecrated book again, because despite P.K's writing style leaving a lot to be de
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm giving it a 4 because I didn't like the aggressive voice of the author throughout the book. However, it is just what I have been looking for in a book about pre-socratic philosophy. I think Kingsley is absolutely right: we have missed the core messages of these writings. I ordered a couple of other books by him and I can't wait to read them!
May 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
i started this book after i found it on the GF's bookshelf when we moved in together. It started out with all the promise of baking brownies, but i lost interest in it not soon after we began to separate our books again. It ended up with mine after the split, and it's still on the shelf. Meh.
Mark Esping
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was out of my experience so I had to read parts of it a couple of times. The deconstruction of Parmenides poem requires a tedious slow recounting of what was written, so the lines become relevant to a readers thoughts. Amazing in it's conclusions.
Molly wemder
on my soon to read list
rated it really liked it
Feb 05, 2015
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Jun 03, 2013
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Dec 11, 2012
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Classical scholar and spiritual teacher Peter Kingsley was born in the UK. He received his BA from the University of Lancaster, his Master of Letters from King's College, Cambridge University, and his PhD from the University of London. He is a former Fellow of the Warburg Institute in London and has held honorary professorships or fellowships at universities in Canada, the United Kingdom and the U ...more
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“Rationality is simply mysticism misunderstood.” 1 likes
“Dreams become a reality when we put our mind into it.” 0 likes
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