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Reality Hardcover – 1 Apr 2004


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Golden Sufi Center (1 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890350087
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890350086
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 16.1 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,248,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Peter Kingsley is an honorary professor of philosophy at the University of New Mexico and an honorary professor in humanities at Simon Fraser University in Canada. He is the author of Ancient Philosophy, Mystery and Magic and In the Dark Places of Wisdom. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Customer Reviews

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rob on 5 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
Twenty years ago, I studied Greek philosophy as an undergraduate. I was particularly interested in the Presocratics, but unconvinced by some of the explanations of my tutors. It struck me that something was missing in their readings, being far too modern-day analytic and materialist. Where was the spirituality that seemed, at least to me, to be hinted at but never openly declared?

In "Reality" my uncertain intuition has found some support and much that puzzled me about Parmenides in particular, has been clarified. More to the point, the book isn't a book about philosophy, it is philosophy, in the original sense - a means of living a better life. Prof. Kingsley has put his academic training to the service of something far more important, namely a deeper spiritual understanding of life; and like the best teacher, he doesn't explain everything (which would reduce it) but allows the reader to decide and ponder for him or herself what he's getting at.

I hope that this opens the way for others to go back to the basics of our philosophical tradition and to see it with new eyes.

This is written in an effortless stle but not always easy to understand, but well worth the effort whether you enjoy philosophy or not. If we take what it says seriously, then I suspect many things would change - namely ourselves. That, surely, is no bad thing.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Joss Wynne Evans on 20 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is the book that has had the greatest impact on me in my life. If you think that is over the top for a review I can only say that you must read it and judge for yourself.

Peter Kingsley has returned directly to the texts of Parmenides and Empedocles, and has shorn away the "accommodation" of their legacy by two thousand years of philosophers intent on the so-far unstoppable promotion of reason as the key to man's understanding of his place in the world, to bring us the uncomfortably direct message of the goddess Persephone.

The author's own engaging and entirely jargon-free writing gives the reader the clearest sense that he is being personally addressed, and this combined with the momentous implications for every human of an understanding of the goddess's message give the work a unique stature among works on the esoteric.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By DJ on 26 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
Peter Kingsley is a Magician - one of those rare beings whose words have a life of their own and the power to transform. In 'Reality' he leads the reader gently but relentlessly to the realisation that neither we nor the world we live in are at all what we think they are. He gives us the tools to experience that truth for ourselves with an immediacy that puts it completely beyond doubt. And when you have had that experience nothing can ever be the same again. Outwardly life seems to go on in much the same way but your perception and understanding of it are utterly transformed.

This is no intellectual exercise - it's philosophy lived through every fibre of your being. Don't read 'Reality' if you want to cling on to the familiar comfort of the world as you think it is. When you allow Peter Kingsley's words to take root in the depths of your being there is no going back. I say this from my own experience and mean it quite literally. The world as I thought it was before reading 'Reality' five years ago no longer exists; hence the title for this review.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Alan Borkwood on 10 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Once upon a time the mother of my children decided she wanted to get down to the nitty-gritty of what Philosophy REALLY was, so went on a course where the lecturer started off by getting his new students to write essays giving their own particular take on what they imagined Philosophy to actually be.

Her essay started with the observation the word literally meant Philo- "love of", -sophy, "Sophia", i.e., "Wisdom" incarnated as a goddess.

This guy's response was a public denunciation: "No! No! No! No! NO! You're completely failing to grasp what Philosophy truly is! `Love', 'Wisdom' - these things've absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Philosophy! Even the old timers who named it knew that! That was just a figure of speech, a way of talking!"

And for a while she really bought into him, regularly, almost accusingly, quoting this guy's ideas back at me, as if saying: you and all your books know nothing!

Nor could I argue with her, because maybe she was right.

Then one day she herself suddenly started pointing out all the glaring non sequiturs, logical inanities, and sheer gaping holes in his take she'd been doing her level best to ignore even as they'd kept piling up - only now she felt so bewildered, confused and generally intellectually lost she felt she'd nowhere left to turn.

So I placed in front of her a stack of Jacob Needleman books she'd already read at least once before, with his take on Philosophy.

At first hesitantly, she soon began racing through those books like someone starved of oxygen, "Of course, of course!" she kept exclaiming, "How could I've been so stupid?"

At the time, I didn't even know Peter Kingsley existed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Visio Smaragdina on 20 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
`Reality' is written by a recognised world expert in ancient philosophy and classical scholarship, Peter Kingsley. However far from being just a distinguished academic, Kingsley is a truly extraordinary individual, someone who is a gifted scholar, powerful communicator and unrepentant mystic. His writings, on the ancient Greek Pre-Socratic philosophers Parmenides and Empedocles, convincingly demonstrate that they too were mystics, what we might today call shamans or magicians. It is quite impossible to understand their writings from a purely materialistic, intellectual point of the view, but unfortunately this has been the path taken by all scholars since the days of Aristotle. Until, that is, Kingsley comes along, driven by his own spiritual experiences and a sense of urgency.

With intuitive insight underpinned by solid research, Kingsley uncovers the hidden esoteric meaning behind the texts, revealing for the first time in 2500 years what these sages really meant. Furthermore, the message of these founders of western culture is still of huge relevance to us today. `Reality' is a revelation of the ancient western mysteries, exposing lost techniques of meditation and dream incubation which were once widely practised in the ancient world and which brought our modern world into being.

If you are expecting `Reality' to be a simple spiritual cookbook which will tell you how to become enlightened in seven easy steps, or which will soothe your ego with empty platitudes, this book is not for you. Walking a genuine spiritual path is never easy, for most of us, if we are truly honest, fear transformation.
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