A writer named Peter Kingsley has been making waves recently in some parts of the Integral community -- particularly his book, A Story Waiting to Pierce You: Mongolia, Tibet and the Destiny of t....  When I first heard about him awhile back, I checked out an online video interview with him -- which I'll try to locate later -- and was not very impressed by what I heard, as I recall, but I thought I'd share his work here for anyone who might be interested.  From what I've gathered so far, his main thesis is that we have all but lost touch with the "original," mystical, "feminine" foundations of Western civilization, which he traces to the work of Parmenides -- and, beyond him, to Mongolia and Tibet --, and Kingsley's work is about retracing and reclaiming that link.


Here's a link to a brief article on this:  The Spiritual Tradition at the Roots of Western Civilization.


And here's more info on his latest book (from his website):


A Story Waiting To Pierce You offers a breathtaking insight into our past and our future as human beings. For the first time in centuries it traces the ancient threads that connect Mongolia, Tibet and Native Americans to the very origins of western civilization -- showing how these sacred ties have shaped our lives today.

This remarkable book tells, with haunting simplicity and precision, the true story of where our western culture really came from and where it is taking us now.

"A true encanto, an incantation, this book is pure music. It sings to the reader. This is the real thing. In each paragraph of the book, the Spirit is there. This is what the native people of the Americas have been trying to say, but were never permitted to. This song is the song of wisdom that we native people have not been allowed to sing."
ᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠ From the Foreword by Joseph Rael (Beautiful Painted Arrow)

"A wondrous love of wisdom is building inside us. Let this book wake you up into new sunlight: into feeling again the ecstatic wholeness of being alive on this planet, the soul-joy of walking, of reading books (see the astonishing Notes to this text: a great, Nabokovian exuberance), of giving attention to whatever wants to come next, the beauty and the mystery. It is not just a book, and so to be read with the mind. Peter Kingsley's voice is a friend, and also a way of seeing, of remembering essence, of walking in a great circle around an island you have always loved, but only rarely visited."
ᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠ Coleman Barks

"The rich and dense scholarship in this book is admirable, nay incredible, with worldwide scope. Scholarly discussion depends on evidence -- of which A Story Waiting to Pierce You offers the most surprising riches, combined with overwhelming expertise."
ᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠ Prof. Walter Burkert

"In this profoundly erudite and eloquent book is a startling ancient secret that will forever alter the way we think about the origins of western civilization."
ᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠ Pir Zia Inayat Khan

"A Story Waiting to Pierce You is, simply, piercing. Peter Kingsley is a master of adamantine prose and peerless scholarship. His work is truly worthy of that overworked term wisdom. And he is a master stylist: he turns you upside down and inside out without your knowing it is happening. This book will inspire, delight and enlighten many but will also challenge others because it is a mirror that reflects our most stubborn prejudices about the origins of our most sacrosanct cultural beliefs. And for that, Peter Kingsley deserves the highest praise."
ᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠ Larry Dossey, M.D.

"A blazingly alive work of scholarship and spiritual insight."
ᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠ Prof. Jacob Needleman

"By challenging some of our most fundamental perceptions of early European history, Peter Kingsley pushes out the horizon of the modern world and opens a new chapter in our appreciation of European-Asian relations. His innovative research into the spiritual and intellectual debt of ancient Greece to Inner Asia not only broadens our understanding of the past, but also helps us to understand better who we are today."
ᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠ Prof. Jack Weatherford

"I have read A Story Waiting to Pierce You with tremendous fascination. It is a unique work -- a captivating and enlightening book which I heartily recommend to anyone with an interest in Eurasian history."
ᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠ Prof. Victor Mair

"Peter Kingsley is more than a master storyteller. He is a magician who reveals the golden thread of truth which makes its way through time and space, secretly holding the fabric of our world together. A Story Waiting to Pierce You reveals the surprisingly mystical origins, and purpose, of western culture as well as what it means to participate in its eternal unfolding right now."
ᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠ Adyashanti

"This is a book of miracles -- deceptively simple, actively profound. It is a core story of human becoming, the secret history that holds the codes to what we are and what we yet may be."
ᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠ Jean Houston

"This is a small book. I suggest that you read it several times and really get the golden idea at its core. Then bring that idea to everything you do -- every decision, every choice, every plan, every interpretation. Live by an entirely different guidance. Walk like you've never walked before."
ᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠ Thomas Moore


To view a short video clip about the book click here

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This past weekend, I picked up a copy of A Story Waiting to Pierce You.  I found Kingsley's writing style to be hyperbolic but poetic and entertaining, and I enjoyed the book up until the last chapter, where he seemed (to me) to take a flying leap into nonsense.  Or, rather, to take an unfounded leap into mystical speculation.  It is in this chapter that he claims that nothing at all happens in the world except by ecstatic direction: cultures change, history is moved, only at the hands of a few knowing ecstatics.

Up until that point, I thought he did a pretty good job (between his poetic-hyperbolic narrative and his extensive scholarly footnotes) making the case that Abaris' origin can be traced to the nomadic tribes of the Mongolian plateau (the Avars), and that his story and his actions can best be understood when we trace them back to Mongolian shamanic and pre-Buddhist traditions.  He writes very poetically about the sacred role of the arrow among these tribes, including the tradition of carrying it around (and being carried by it, in trance); about a practice of circumambulating the land with an arrow in order to purify it, which he argues is what Abaris was doing as he walked into Greece in a trance; about the dual meaning of Skywalker (both 'arrow' and 'shamanic journeyer' in Mongolian and Tibetan languages); about the relation between the shape of Abaris' arrow and the later Tibetan phurba, which he argues is similarly of Mongolian origin; about the relationship between Hyberborrea and Mongolia, and the Hyperborrean/Mongolian origins of Apollo (Apollo's origin story tracing to Hyperborrea, and his mother being born of a wolf, while the Mongols claim that their whole tribe was born of the wolf); etc, etc.  He makes many mythological, historical, and archeological links and crafts a pretty compelling story. 

One of his bigger claims (from my perspective) is that Pythagoras was a tulku, and was recognized as such by Abaris.  He makes the case that reincarnation is not just a doctrine found in India and Greece, but among the Mongols too, as well as among some Amerindian tribes.  And he argues that Abaris the Avar recognized Pythagoras as a living incarnation of Apollo, following methods (described in the Greek texts) which are remarkably similar (he argues) to the methods currently used today by Mongolian and Tibetan Buddhists to recognize a tulku or reincarnation.

Kingsley may or may not be right about the connections he is making (he does provide extensive footnotes to support his poetically delivered claims, so at least he leaves a trail for those interested and able to follow it), but I was at least willing to go along with the story to see where it led.  (I was intrigued by some passing links he made to Bon culture and Zhang Zhung, since that is the lineage I trained in -- particularly the teachings of the Zhang Zhung Nyan Gyud). But when he got to the last chapter, he pulled out the stops and started making bold metaphysical claims about the nature of reality and the origins of history and I felt rather let down.  The nutshell:  ecstatic mystics are needed to bring new worlds into existence, and to bring old ones to a close.  And there are only two kinds of people in existence: ordinary folks, the majority, who work in samsara, chasing the wheel of time, and the very few who work behind the scenes from pure ecstatic stillness and bring the future into being.  The Western culture was brought into being by such a mystic (Pythagoras), but now we have forgotten this sacred origin, and so it is time for this world to be dismantled and a new one to be birthed by another mystic.  

Who .... Kingsley?

Come on, you know the answer, it is within you. Relax, focus, open...it's Kennilingus! Worship at the altar of the kennilingam...

Thanks, Bruce, for following through with this, and for this review. In the youtube vids I had found myself a little put off by the implied i-knowlier-than-thou-ness of his style of delivery, but it does sound like it might be a good book to read in an airport departure lounge.

"Who .... Kingsley?" You never know, he might have seen the Kumare documentary.


Hi, Lol, yes, I do think it's a good read, and an attractive little book, overall.  I'd definitely recommend it for an airport departure lounge time-passer (it's short enough that you might finish it in one read, and it might put you in an altered state!).
Lol, when you are on the plane be careful not to get carried away in the circling, purifying, and cleansing trance walking which becomes nondual with militray action for the cleansing of the old seed for the appearance of the new seed so that you do not decide to take out, say, the White House or the Vatican.  Of course you wouldn't do this if you were the bringer of the new seed as you would need to stick around for awhile.  The book was a good read for me also, but when the cleansing is related to barbaric militarism as with Ghengas Khan who also was apparently incarnated with Apollo, what are the methods to be used for the transition from old to new?  The times have changed some, but militarism or mind control by the rich and powerful seems to still be the mode of the mighty changers.  It plays out as manifest destiny of the house on the hill bringing the glorifed goodness and state elitist welfare capitalism to all with the sword leading the way.  Obama seems to talk green and act orange to red.  I guess if the elites are second tier, then maybe to change would be less militarily driven.  When spirit meets politics and economy all hell can break loose.  The book doesn't address this, but makes one think about it.

Ya, I thought the Illuminati were out to control us, not free us. (?) :-)

Thanks for the overview and review Balder. I'd like to give it a read, as I used to read about the roots of early Greek philosophy at one time.

I'm not sure who else has also said that it is the ecstatic mystics who always herald in the "new paradigm," other than the Theosophists and their idea of the Hidden Masters, but it seems to me that this idea is not new.

Orperhaps its a version of the "Great Man Theory" of history, an offshoot of the Romantic notion of the "Genius."

(I notice that Hegel talks about the "agents of the Weltgiest." That's sure to get the conspiracy-mongers going, as I'm sure they are secret agents, no less. :-)
kelamuni said:

Ya, I thought the Illuminati were out to control us, not free us. (?) :-)

Thanks for the overview and review Balder. I'd like to give it a read, as I used to read about the roots of early Greek philosophy at one time.

I'm not sure who else has also said that it is the ecstatic mystics who always herald in the "new paradigm," other than the Theosophists and their idea of the Hidden Masters, but it seems to me that this idea is not new.

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