Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
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."
"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
I recall a meditation I created when a member of the HOGD. The 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet have light, sound and numerological correlations. I colored a set of the letters (in "flashing" colors*) and then we intoned the letter in its corresponding musical note while visualizing the letter lighting up the related part of the body, focusing the sound vibration in that area. I grouped the letters by the 3 mothers (corresponding to the primal 3 elements of air, water and fire), then the 7 double letters (corresponding to the planets/chakras) and then the 12 regular letters (corresponding to body parts via zodiac associations).
BOTA was also infamous for such meditations, but nothing this complex that I know of. They would intone the divine names based on the corresponding notes associated with the letters in those names. Names so intoned rarely if ever were "in key" so the off-key combinations produced are often eerie and state-invoking. Does it open doors to angelic realms and effect communication with its inhabitants? Doubtful but it can be still beneficial nonetheless.
*Flashing colors means is using one color for the letter and its opposite on the color wheel for the surrounding space. This can create an optical illusion of the letter and surrounding space switching colors back and forth.
I actually have an outfit like this! Only my cross is Rosy.
You can see the letters in the flashing colors.
Btw, it can also be used as a "stargate" by rotating the 3 circles of letters (like a combination lock) to the corresponding plane one wants to visit, intone (and pronounce) the Name correctly, and then poof, you transport to the desired space-time location.
In reading the last post in the 2012 thread it reminds me of the GD stuff, how when I got to the portal of the inner order and read this stuff I just thought, like Caputo speaking for Lyotard in this thread, I "just don’t believe that stuff anymore and [I'm] going to spend [my] time doing something more constructive." The last posts in the Caputo thread emphasize that it's not about doing away with a tradition but merely "reinventing" it. I re-joined the GD over a year ago with that intent but the work is just so contaminated to its core with the metaphysical that it cannot be merely opened up. At least I couldn't do it, instead being drawn back into the same type of new agey, theosophical, apocalyptic and what I now consider nonsense to continue with it, so gave up up again.
Unless of course what I'm doing here and at my blog is indeed my own idosyncretic way of reinvention. I'm trying ways to include a lot of different schools of though and practice, including my hermetic training, in an individual, singular way. Granted it's not safe and secure like being part of an Order or a Church or a Religion but it's the way I have to go. As in the Caputo thread I am the "singular" situation which is different than all others, while nonetheless being the same in a general way. And I really have no other choice but to be me in this way, to carve my own path through the jungle, and hope that at least in some small way it provides some benefit to those traveling the well-worn byways of metaphysics.