Skip to Content

Staff Picks Category: Philosophy

In the Dark Places of Wisdom by Peter Kingsley []



Kingsley aims primarily to situate properly the spiritual teaching and practice of Parmenides and his successors in ancient Creek wisdom traditions. This fifth-century BCE philosopher is commonly described as the “father of Western metaphysics and logic” because he was the first thinker formally to discuss the nature of being. Recent archaeological discoveries indicate that this same Parmenides was a priest in the cult of Apollo the Healer. Kingsley argues that the magical and ecstatic aspects of this healing cult–incubation, meditative quieting of the mind, dream interpretation, and shamanic journeys to other worlds, all rooted in the Anatolian Apollo cult–made up the practical, experiential foundations of Parmenides’ philosophy. This book is a marvelous paradox: despite its overtly scholarly aim (20 pages of dense notes at the end), it is paced like a detective thriller; yet the central aim is to awaken the longing for self-transcendence.

Tagged: , ,