Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Moore reviews Kingsley's book for Parabola

In Parabola’s Winter 2010 magazine, Thomas Moore reviews Peter Kingsley’s A Story Waiting to Pierce You: Mongolia, Tibet, And The Destiny Of The Western World, published by The Golden Sufi Center (2010). Moore writes:
"Many earnest people are at work trying to understand how to shift civilization and private lives away from entropy and threat. They try to be intelligent and informed and trust that civilization will thrive on good factual knowledge and the best data. They look to experts in each field to lead the way by means of their education and experience.
But Peter Kingsley offers an alternative point of view, and a solution to these essential questions, by delving deeply into the roots of our civilization. He doesn’t do this as a typical philosopher, and he doesn’t depict the philosophers he studies in the usual way: as academics surrounded by books and always deep in thought. In his previous books — as in A Story Waiting to Pierce You — he demonstrates that philosophy, true to its Greek language roots, is a certain intimate interplay with wisdom, and that classically it is pursued not in abstract and mental terms but through crafted modes of meditation, ritual, and community."
Moore describes Kingsley’s writing style:
"Peter writes in a style that echoes the oral musicality of a traditional storyteller. To all appearances it is a simple style; but profound challenges sit quietly, almost hidden, on every page. Peter is re-writing the ancient philosophical tradition and, in doing so, is making it accessible in a way that, I believe, is most suited to our new century. His style is not linear, entirely logical, nor explanatory. It evokes the mysteries that have long remained invisible in texts that have been presented as though they were the result of factual research. In every way, Peter is closer to dream than to what we think of as fact.
This new book uses fresh investigations into history to give us timeless clues for our survival. His topic is nothing less than civilization and its sources of unfolding and flowering. I also read the book as a psychology of ecstasy."
The review particularly notes Kingsley’s fresh depictions of the god Apollo:
"Peter gives a very different portrait of this god, far from the allegorical cipher that you find in books on philosophy or mythology. What’s important about this shift in our picture of Apollo is the very point of Peter’s new book: a new appreciation for shamanic ecstasy as the only trustworthy source for a civilization’s — and I would say a person’s — continuing on the adventure of life."
Author: Peter Kingsley
Title: A Story Waiting to Pierce You: Mongolia, Tibet, And The Destiny Of The Western World
Publisher: The Golden Sufi Center (November 1, 2010)
Language: English
Pages: 192
ISBN-10: 1890350214
ISBN-13: 978-1890350215

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