REALITY (New 2020 Edition)



Reality introduces us to the extraordinary mystical tradition that lies right at the roots of western culture.

This is the true story of Parmenides, Empedocles, and those like them: spiritual guides and experts in other states of consciousness, healers and interpreters of dreams, prophets and magicians who laid the foundation for the world we now live in. Reality documents the excruciating process that led to their work and teaching being distorted, covered over, lost.

And most importantly, it presents these original teachings in all their immediacy and power—revealing their ability, just as vibrant now as at the dawn of the western world, to awaken us to what reality truly is.

Reality is the key to, and also the core of, Peter Kingsley’s work as a whole. It draws us into a world of magnificent beauty; of uncanny precision, meaning and magic. And it uncovers a forgotten way of life that restores to us, step by step, our own divine nature right where this matters most: in the middle of our fragmented, everyday lives.

New and updated edition of this classic book first published in 2004.

ISBN: 978-1-9996384-2-9 (hardback) or 978-1-9996384-3-6 (paperback). Length:  600 pages. Dimensions: 6 x 9″ (229 x 152 mm). Price: $55 + shipping (hardback) or $29.95 + shipping (paperback). Publisher: Catafalque Press.


To read the following reviews, click on the name of the reviewer:

by Gregory Shaw (Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2004.07.43)
by Nicolas Leon Ruiz (The Agonist vol. III, issue 2, July 2008, pp. 26-38)
by Laura Gemelli Marciano (Gnomon vol. 78, 2006, pp. 657-671 – in Italian)
by Seyyed Hossein Nasr (Parabola vol. XXIX/2, Summer 2004, pp. 106-111)
by Ivan Christov (Rhizai vol. II/1, 2005, pp. 115-117)
by Brian Brewer (Journal of Conscious Evolution vol. 3, 2006/2007)


“This book is a journey back to the source—not only of western civilization but, more importantly, to the source within you. Read it! To understand it is to be transformed.”

Eckhart Tolle—author of The Power of Now


“In Reality Peter Kingsley takes us on a journey into the essence of ourselves, revealing the adamantine, self-luminous reality that shines at the core of our being and in the midst of the world.”

Rupert Spira—author of The Nature of Consciousness and Being Aware of Being Aware


“Peter Kingsley’s brilliant and extraordinary book Reality ranks easily with Krishnamurti’s As One Is, because the pre-Socratic philosophers he so eloquently evokes speak from the same source. The voices of Parmenides, Empedocles, Zeno and others call across the generations for self inquiry and exploration into what actually is—and the same message contained in Krishnamurti’s teaching also comes from the great pre-Socratic singers of the song of Reality. To listen, without ideology or belief, is to begin to hear what the singing is all about.”

James Paul—symphony conductor and trustee, The Krishnamurti Foundation of America


“Stunningly original, Reality is momentous in its implications. This book is aimed at one of the highest ends I can imagine—to restore to us the understanding that the original purpose of Greek philosophy was to launch the Western mind on a profoundly spiritual course. It shows, in a way which to my eyes is completely convincing, that the founders of philosophy were not just proto-physicists whose ingenious conjectures have long been shelved. They were spiritual giants whose understandings have not been surpassed and may never be surpassed.”

Prof. Huston Smith—author of The World’s Religions and Forgotten Truth


“This book contains the purest and most powerful writing I have ever read.”

Michael Baigent—author of Ancient Traces and The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail


“There are few writers today you must read. Peter Kingsley is one of them. With absolute clarity he writes about the most challenging issues, and at the same time is inspiring in the most ancient sense: filling us with spirit and hope. His words will change the way you imagine your life.”

Thomas Moore—author of Care of the Soul and Dark Nights of the Soul


“Peter Kingsley is a successor to Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. His lectures and writings—especially his latest book, Reality—reveal hidden dimensions of consciousness and how it manifests in the world. His message conveys hope and meaning, and reveals majestic qualities of the mind we have forgotten and which have been ignored by Western ‘authorities’ for centuries. Peter Kingsley is a transformative and life-changing force in our world. Never have we needed such a message as now.”

Larry Dossey, M.D.—author of Healing Beyond the BodyReinventing Medicine, and Healing Words


“A brilliant and passionately written book, Reality is a work of rare genius.”

Prof. Gregory Shaw—author of Theurgy and the Soul


“Dr. Kingsley’s remarkable new book, Reality, is extraordinarily valuable. It would be difficult not to conclude that, through his research into our past, he has found the key to the modern world impasse.”

Robert A. Johnson—author of He, She, Inner Work, and Balancing Heaven & Earth


“This epochal work is not only a seminal study of the origins of Western thought. It also is a guide for the rediscovery of truths which lie hidden in the souls and minds of men and women today—and which urgently need to be brought to light in a world groping in so much spiritual and intellectual darkness. It seeks nothing less than to reveal the original nature of Western philosophy in its true, but long forgotten, sense. And through doing so it forces contemporary human beings to reexamine what it means to be human.”

Prof. Seyyed Hossein Nasr—author of Knowledge and the Sacred and Religion and the Order of Nature


“With its startling blend of spiritual passion and the bold vision of a consummate scholar, this remarkable book invites us—even to the point of demanding us—to open our eyes to the unseen realities nourishing the ancient roots of our civilization. Of even more importance, it invites us to the great work of opening ourselves to the mystical reality that is calling from within to each and every one of us.”

Prof. Jacob Needleman—author of The Heart of Philosophy and The American Soul


“Peter Kingsley is probably the only person alive who understands the Presocratics.”

Richard Smoley—author of The Dice Game of Shiva and Forbidden Faith

About Peter Kingsley

PETER KINGSLEY is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking work on the origins of western spirituality, philosophy and culture. Through his writings as well as lectures he speaks straight to the heart and has helped to transform many people’s understanding not only of the past, but of who they are.

He is the author of six books which together have exerted the profoundest and most far-reaching influence outside as well as inside academia. For years he has lectured very widely—speaking to Native American elders and psychologists, professional scholars and followers of different spiritual traditions, healers and medical practitioners as well as people who very simply are aware of the need to wake up to a reality greater than the one we are used to.

After receiving the degree of Master of Letters from King’s College Cambridge in 1977, Peter Kingsley was awarded a PhD by the University of London. He has worked together with many of the most prominent figures in the fields of classics and anthropology, philosophy and religious studies, ancient civilizations and the history of both healing and science. He is the recipient of numerous academic awards and holds honorary professorships or fellowships at universities in Canada, the United Kingdom and United States.

To explore the work of Peter Kingsley, visit