The Golden Sufi Center

In the Dark Places of Wisdom Book Cover

In the Dark Places of Wisdom
by Peter Kingsley

Chapter Excerpt | Description

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Table of Contents

ONE

This Book 3

Our Ancestors 5

Phocaea 11

Journey to the West 19

Fairy Story 25

What's Missing 33

Killing the Father 39

TWO

Getting Started 49

The Man in a Toga 55

Dying Before You Die 61

Masters of Dreams 77

Apollo 87

Goddess 93

Iatromantis 101

Ecstasy 106

The Sound of Piping 116

THREE

Founding Hero 139

The Line 150

Walking Away 163

Ameinias 173

Like the Wind at Night 184

FOUR

Playing with Toys 195

The Lawgivers 204

A Matter of Practicalities 220

FIVE

Invisible Lightning 229

REFERENCES 233

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Excerpt from Chapter One


This Book

THIS BOOK IS NEITHER FACT NOR FICTION. It 's about something stranger than both; and compared to that, what we call facts are just fiction.

It's not what it seems, just as the things around us aren't what they seem. If you read on you'll see it's all about deception—about the total deception of the world we live in and about what lies behind.

It might seem to be a story about things that happened a long time ago. But really it's about ourselves. The details will probably be unfamiliar, very unfamiliar. And yet their significance reaches to the roots of our own being.

This unfamiliarity is important. Usually something is unfamiliar because it has no relation to us and we have no relation to it. But what's most unfamiliar of all is what's closest to us, and which we've forgotten. It's like a limb that's been anaesthetized or that's been unused for a long, long time. When we start feeling it again it's so strangely unfamiliar just because it's such an essential part of us.

And that's the purpose of this book: to awaken something we've forgotten, something we've been made to forget by the passing of time and by those who've misunderstood or—for reasons of their own—have wanted us to forget.

It could be said that this process of awakening is profoundly healing. It is. The only trouble with saying this is that we've come to have such a superficial idea of healing. For most of us, healing is what makes us comfortable and eases the pain. It's what softens, protects us. And yet what we want to be healed of is often what will heal us if we can stand the discomfort and the pain.

We want healing from illness, but it's through illness that we grow and are healed of our complacency. We're afraid of loss, and yet it's through what we lose that we're able to find what nothing can take away from us. We run from sadness and depression. But if we really face our sadness we find it speaks with the voice of our deepest longing; and if we face it a little longer we find that it teaches us the way to attain what we long for.

And what is it that we long for? That's what this story is about.