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Friday, March 8, 2019

Peter Kingsley – Another Story Waiting to Pierce You (a critique)

Peter Kingsley is an English scholar who work with the assumption that philosophy is a spiritual practice with a spiritual purpose. This is a quite central aspect of my own view of philosophy. But it is not new. Pierre Hadot is another scholar who have emphasized this, and who is a central philosopher for the new movement of philosophical counseling. You could also mention Algis Uždavinys. Uždavinys (1962–2010) was a prolific Lithuanian philosopher and scholar. His work pioneered the hermeneutical comparative study of Egyptian and Greek religions, especially their esoteric relations to Semitic religions, and in particular the inner aspect of Islam (Sufism). Upon graduation he came in contact with the writings and authors of the Traditionalist or Perennialist school, and this influenced his comparative exegesis, notably his studies on Sufism, the Ancient Egyptian religion, and his assertion of the substantial continuity of Greek philosophical tradition from Pythagoras down to the latest Neoplatonic authors. In this last claim he was expressly indebted to Pierre Hadot. 

So, I agree with a lot of Kingsley´s assertions. But in his more recent works (Reality, A Story, and Catafalque), Kingsley argues that esoteric texts designed to record or induce mystical experiences can never be understood from an "outsider's perspective"; understanding must come from a reader's lived experience—or not at all.

He is therefore putting his interpretations into the context of storytelling, which gives his work a fascinating originality. But, as we shall see below, his storytelling is also a kind of Neo-Advaita satsang exercises. And that rises this investigation of another story behind Kingsley.

Kingsley has written five books and numerous articles on ancient philosophy, including Ancient Philosophy, Mystery and Magic, In the Dark Places of WisdomRealityA Story Waiting to Pierce You: Mongolia, Tibet and the Destiny of the Western World, and Catafalque: Carl Jung and the End of Humanity.

In a review of Kingsley´s book A Story Waiting to Pierce You Nicolas Leon Ruiz writes:

Peter Kingsley’s new book, A Story Waiting to Pierce You: Mongolia, Tibet and the Destiny of the Western World, is, as the title suggests, not only about the West—nor is it simply about the past. The book takes as its starting point the enigmatic accounts of Pythagoras’ encounter with Abaris the Hyperborean. Abaris, an itinerant healer, miracle worker and prophet, arrived in Greece as a mysterious visitor from the East and ended up playing an absolutely crucial role in the life of Pythagoras—and so in the creation of Western science, philosophy, and culture. Kingsley picks up the glossed, ignored and abandoned threads that these stories offer and weaves together a narrative of remarkable power and scope. At the heart of his “story” is a startling revelation: that the indigenous wisdom of the West was intimately connected with Mongolian and Tibetan shamanic tradition. As the book shows, what follows from this has the most serious and far-reaching implications for our understanding of Western, Mongolian, Tibetan and even Native American sacred tradition.


As I said at the outset, A Story Waiting to Pierce You is not simply a book about the past. In fact, it is very much a book for our time. We find ourselves in a modern world on the brink of collapse—and we wonder what to do. The stakes are high: our very survival hangs on what we do next. The modern age, with its technocracy, reductionism, and abandonment of the sacred, offers no real solutions because it is part of the problem. Meanwhile, those of us who advocate a return to Tradition worry about how to reconnect to the essence of the past without merely recreating its outward forms. A Story Waiting to Pierce You reframes all of these issues. Kingsley’s answer to our current impossible, life-or-death situation is Abaris’ answer, and Pythagoras’ answer. It is the answer of Tradition:

[quote from the book]: “At any given point in time there will only ever be one single way to put a real step forward—which is in a state of ecstasy that takes us out of ourselves. This is how it always has been and will be for each of us; and this also is how it is for the whole. We have the strange idea in the West that civilizations just happen: that they come into existence as a hit or miss affair and then we bumble along, creating and inventing and making it better. But this is not how things are done at all. Civilizations never just happen. They are brought into existence quite consciously, with unbelievable compassion and determination, from another world” [end of quote]


We have forgotten what our ancestors knew—the sacred ecstasy that allowed them to face their own desperate times, allowed them to do the impossible. This book comes as an urgent reminder of first things: of where worlds and civilizations really come from, and how, and why. Too often we think of a sacred tradition as something that just barely survives inside of a civilization; of ecstasy as otherworldly and impractical. Kingsley shows us that the opposite is true. Sacred traditions create civilizations. Tradition is the living soil from which all our cultures spring. People like Pythagoras and Abaris learned how to step outside of themselves and allow the sacred to come. Their ecstasy sowed worlds. A Story Waiting to Pierce You conveys this power and urgency through its remarkable style. It reads at times like a prose poem, an incantation, a song of ecstasy. And ecstasy is uncompromising. It has nothing to offer the New Age seeker, nothing to teach the secular intellectual. In ecstasy we lose ourselves—along with all our ideas of the way things were going to be. Yet we are offered something much richer in return: the chance to “live in service not to our flimsy expectations but to the power of life itself” (35). In a world that has almost forgotten these things, and nearly killed itself in the process, Peter Kingsley’s A Story Waiting to Pierce You is a reminder, and a call to life.

Again: there is much of this I agree with. Kingsley could for example be seen as a traditionalist, or, an inspiration for traditionalists like myself. The Traditionalist School is a group of 20th- and 21st-century thinkers concerned with what they consider to be the demise of traditional forms of knowledge, both aesthetic and spiritual, within Western society. The principal thinkers in this tradition are René Guénon, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Frithjof Schuon, and Huston Smith. A central belief of this school is the existence of a perennial wisdom, or perennial philosophy, which says that there are primordial and universal truths which form the source for, and are shared by all the major world religions. This is what makes philosophy an important part of spiritual practice.

But Kingsley is not at all a traditionalist. He is a progressivist. This might sound strange, but this is a part of his trickery (he himself uses the word trickster about himself). I will explain it. Usually a traditionalist is viewed as a pessimist concerning the development of the world. He is also a conservative in relation to the brave old world. A progressivist is usually viewed as an optimist and for the brave new world. Kingsley sounds extremely critical and pessimistic concerning the future. But his progressivist side can be explained by the fact that he is a postmodernist, and a New Ager. This is something he is not open about, but he exposes it through his writings. On page 245 in  Catafalque, he talks about "the so-called traditionalists", and mentions René Guenon, whom he not only critizices, but also are talking about in the typical postmodernist mockering languge. This continues on pages 390, 392 and, in part two of the book, page 765. Here he mocks an Iranian traditionalist, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, who had dared to critizice Jung. He uses terms such as "would-be esotericists who called themselves Traditionalists". 

I´m just writing this as an illustration of that he is not a traditionalist. I myself consider myself to be a traditionalist, but this doesn´t mean that I agree with everything a self-proclaimed traditionalist might say (many of them are evolutionists - see comments area). What Kingsley especially is against is intellectualists who claim authority on the mystical experience, but don´t have any experience of it. I agree with that, but this seems to a boomerang returning to Kingsley himself. Does Kingsley himself has such an experience? He calls himself a mystic, but it is clear from his writngs that he doesn´t have any experience of navigating in the spiritual twilight zone, where you are beginning to have mystical experiences. He is therefore distorting spirituality, as many other New Agers. 

My main point is that the whole of Kingsley work leads towards an appraisal of Jung as a savior of Western spirituality (the demand that religion and philosophy need to be reduced to psychology, or rather, Jung´s psychology). He is, wrongly, talking about Jung as an enlightened master and prophet. Anybody who has gone through a spiritual crisis, can see that Jung´s life and works were characterized by an uncompleted spiritual crisis. I use the word crisis instead of awakening, in order to avoid inflating speculations. Jung probably had a kundalini awakening or a shamanic awakening - see my article, Spitual Crises as the Cause of Paranormal Phenomena.

Kingsley hasn´t got any knowledge about spiritual crises. He is absolutely fascinated by Jung´s paranormal experiences, which constantly are compared with great sages, mystics and prophets. These experiences, and Jung´s own interpretations of them, are taken as absolute truths. In fact, he is obsessed with "spiritual experiences" in the same way as Stanislav Grof. When talking about "mystical experiences", he is always talking about "visionary experiences of reality", or "trance states", and ends up in endless speculations and interpretations of  these. He is not talking about realization (about this confusion, see my article, A Critique of Stanislav Grof and Holotropic Breathwork, and the following booklet, The Psychedelic Experience versus the Mystical Experience).

He has therefore picked out ancient philosophers who fit into this worship of Jung. And therewith we have, first the counterculture, hereafter postmodern New Age spirituality.

For example, there is the critique of Plato, who in all his books  misguidingly are mocked as the main cause of all the misery today. On page 219 he retells the usual left-wing myth about that Plato wanted to create a totalitarian state ruled by philosopher-kings, and that The United States is build on this dream. Kingsley is all about how Plato has distorted other writers, but he himself is distorting Plato; manipulating because he, as a scholar, knows that this is not what Plato was talking about when talking about the State. Plato was using the concept of the state as an allegory of the inner state of a human being. He does this in the same way as with his famous, allegory of the cave. And Socrates, the main character in Plato´s work, was talking about simplicity, and never took any fees. The whole of Plato´s work was about spiritual practice, and the inner spiritual transformation of the human being. 

As we shall see below, it is Kingsley´s heroes, the sophists, who have created the ground for coming generations of totalitarian states, hereunder communism and fascism. And it were the Sophists who led to the death of Socrates.

That Kingsley sounds pessimistic is due to his postmodernism, which is about the total deconstruction of our consciousness and society, which is seen as the only way for the coming New Age. Kingsley seems without any ability to relate to anything else than deeply caricatured versions of his opponents (rationalists, both philosophers and other scholars). They are consistently mentioned in condescending, sarcastic ways. On page 298 in his book, Catafalque, he directly calls Aristotle a "rationalistic fool". This is a use of the thought distortion called Strawman. The conscious use of thought distortions is one of the things the postmodernists have inherited from their background in Stalinism. In postmodernism we see the old University marxists and Stalinists in new clothings. 

First of all, you need to be aware of his procedure. Kingsley's procedure is to read pre-Socratic texts in historical and geographical context, giving particular attention to the Southern Italian and Sicilian backgrounds of Parmenides and Empedocles. Additionally, he reads the poems of Parmenides and Empedocles as esoteric and mystical texts, a hermeneutical perspective that, according to Kingsley, is both indicated by the textual and historical evidence and also provides the only way to solve many problems of interpretation and text criticism.

This is where I agree with him. It is a quite central aspect of my own view of philosophy as a spiritual practice. But, as mentioned, in his more recent works (Reality, A Story and Catafalque), his works becomes a kind of Neo-Advaita Satsang exercises.

He claims that Parmenides and Empedocles (and many of his other characters) also were storytellers, shamans, and that their texts are meant for spiritual exercises.  Until now I agree, and this is a very important knowledge, but when reading his stories I soon found out that Kingsley also is using the word shaman in the sense of a magician, an enchanter, a trickster, a seducer; in short: a sophist. And here I mean sophist in the sense where sophism, sophist and sophistry are used disparagingly. A sophism is a fallacious argument, especially one used deliberately to deceive. A sophist is a person who reasons with clever but fallacious and deceptive arguments. In opposition to me Kingsley finds such trickery positive. It is therefore he proudly claims how “dangerous” his teaching is, and how “revolutionary” it is, since it “sabotages” our illusions.

In my book A Dictionary of Thought Distortions I claim that the Sophists used thought distortions as a way of getting on in the world, while Socrates (the philosopher), used dialectics (critical thinking). I consider this book to be a kind of philosophical diary on how I, during my spiritual crisis, used critical thinking (dialectics, or elenchos, the art of refutation) to distinguish base magic (New Age), which leaves everything to chance, and may lead its practitioners to consort with falsity and evil daemons, and higher magic or theurgy. The latter is a guarantor of truth and happiness, combined as it is with the source itself: the Good, the True and the Beautiful. Critical thinking simply rescued me from madness. As a result I came to believe that Socrates represented an ancient path of wisdom, where philosophy in a similar way was used as a navigator through the Spiritual Twilight Zone. This is scholarly supported by Algis Uzdavinys, in his book Philosophy and Theurgy in the Late Antiquity.  I will return to this below.

Critical thinking (in the ancient sense of dialectics) is about spotting thought distortions, and examining them by presenting reasons and evidence in support of conclusions. Critical thinking is the only tool you can use in order to explore, change and restructure thought distortions. This use of critical thinking could also be called Elenchos, the art of argumentation or refutation. The difference between the use of thought distortions and the use of critical thinking is very shortly said, that those who use thought distortions are in the control of the thought distortion Magical thinking, which is active when you don´t discriminate between image and reality (myth and metaphysics), true and false, right and wrong, while critical thinking is active, when you do make this discrimination. 

Socrates´ use of dialectics involves the whole of this concept of philosophizing. As Uzdavinys says, then it is The Ancient Logos. Hellenic philosophy is a late and "modernized" version of that immemorial wisdom tradition which can be traced back not simply to the mythical theologies of ancient Egypt, Assyria and Babylonia, but ultimately to the forgotten dreams and visions of the Stone (if not the golden) Age, whose "holy silence" is impenetrable to our modern consciousness.

Uzdavinys writes:

Therefore Celsus, the middle Platonist, speaks about the "Ancient Logos" which is "true wisdom" (alethos logos), according to J.C.M. Van Widen´s translation. This ancient wisdom "has existed from the beginning and has always been maintained by the wisest nations and cities and wise men" (Origen Contra Celsum, 1.14), namely Egyptians, Assyrians, Indians, Persians, Odryssians, Samothracians, and Eleusinians. Evidently, both philosophy and the mysteries constitute this "true logos" which modern commentators describe as muthos. (page 70).

When my kundalini had turned into a top-down awakening (see my post Kundalini as a Top-down Awakening), I started writing my first book Meditation as an Art of Life - a Basic Reader. I wrote it in order to share the solutions I had developed out of distress. Today I consider it to be a legible example of the Ancient Logos. At that time I wasn´t familiar with scholars like Kingsley or Uzdavinys, and I didn´t construct it from scholarly knowledge. I discovered it in my spiritual crisis, and in my meeting with numerous New Age occultists and magicians, who tried to mislead me with false knowledge. Had I followed their advices I wouldn´t have been here today.

Part two of the book describes five supporting exercises, ending with the philosophical diary. The fifth exercise, The Philosophical Diary, is a training in critical thinking (elenchos, discrimination). Here I present the concept of thought distortions, which are developed further in my book A Dictionary of Thought Distortions. Part one of the book is about the art of asking philosophical questions in a meditative-existential way, and through all this, to remember one´s own divine nature (anamnesis), which only can be decribed in religious or mythical terms. The journey seems to follow a Myth-Logos-Myth pattern. The Universe is a myth, which we travel through. And we use philosophy (the ancient logos) to navigate. This is also why I advice people to get themselves a religion, when they want to start a spiritual practice (see my article The Value of Having a Religion in a Spiritual Practice). Philosophy and Theurgy is one.

The philosopher, in Plato´s characterisation, awakens the spirit of inquiry. He helps his listeners to discover the truth (to think for themselves), and it is they who bring forth, under his catalysing influence, the answer to life´s riddles. The philosopher is the midwife, and his duty is to help us to what we are – free and rational beings, who lack nothing that is required to understand our condition. This was a spiritual exercise. The Sophist, by contrast, misleads us with cunning fallacies, takes advantage of our weakness, and offers himself as the solution to problems of which he himself is the cause.

The Sophists were teachers of rhetoric, who against a fee, taught people how to persuade other people about their “truths”. Rhetoric, or sophistry, is the art of persuasion. Rather than giving reasons and presenting arguments to support conclusions, as Socrates did, then those who use sophistry are employing a battery of techniques, such as emphatic assertion, persuader words and emotive language, to convince the listener, or reader, that what they say or imply is true.

The Sophists taught their pupils how to win arguments by any means available; they were supposedly more interested in teaching ways of getting on in the world than ways of finding the truth, as Socrates did. Therefore any charlatan is welcome. And the use of thought distortions is seen as the best tool, when practising the mantra of the management culture: “It is not facts, but the best story, that wins!” We shall later see that the management culture is founded in chaos magic.

When Plato founded the first academy, and placed philosophy at the heart of it, he did so in order to protect the precious store of wisdom from the assaults of charlatans, to create a kind of temple to truth in the midst of falsehood, and to marginalise the Sophists who preyed on human confusion (more about my book A Dictionary of Thought Distortions in the below comments area).

Chapter ten of Kingsley´s book, Reality, is a celebration of the sophists, or rather, the “father of sophism” Gorgias, since Gorgias is the student of Empedocles, who was a student of Parmenides. What Kingsley is suggesting is the direct opposite of the above. He claims that Parmenides, Empedocles, and therefore Gorgias, are the last of a line of true philosophers, while Plato (and therefore Socrates) is the beginning of the decline. Kingsley is only working with pre-Socratic philosophers (or psychologists like Carl Jung). Even Plotinus, the father of mysticism, and whom one might believe Kingsley would admire, is described as having misunderstood the “true” teaching. On page 438 he writes:

Plotinus may have been a mystic; but he thought he could be a very reasonable mystic. So he fell, along with everyone else, straight into the trap.

The reason why Kingsley so persistently is trying to dismiss, not only Plato, but also Plotin, is of course not due to a spiritual project, but a political project. It is Kingsley´s attempt of getting the whole picture to fit his postmodernist, New Age fantasies. 

It is clear that Kingsley´s enemy is reason, or rationality. But this attack questions what his own philosophy actually is. First of all: the obscurity and fragmentary state of Parmenides´ text (it is a poem), renders almost every claim that can be made about Parmenides extremely contentious, and the traditional interpretation has by no means been abandoned. Kingsley is very consistent about how Plato, and modern scholars, have distorted Parmenides. But this consistency provokes the question of why it is that we then should believe Kingsley´s interpretation to be the absolute truth? I certainly find it difficult to believe that you can read postmodernism out of it. But of course, postmodernists can also read postmodernism and left-wing political topics out of quantum mechanics (Kingsley continues his accusations when it comes to, what he calls, the "distorted" readings of Jung).

When I read Parmenides´s text, I come to think about the Tibetan Dzogchen master Longchenpa, who only wrote about the enlightened state, not the ordinary mind, or the ordinary world (see my blog post The Mandala of Kant and Longchenpa). But Dzogchen requires many years of preparatory work, where reason and critical thinking are quite central. In the East we find similar warnings against teaching Dzogchen to the unprepared, as we see in Plato´s warnings.

Within Dzogchen is used the so-called Pointing-out Instruction, one of the highest spiritual practices in Eastern philosophy. The pointing-out instruction (ngo sprod) is the direct introduction to the nature of mind in the Tibetan Buddhist lineages of Mahāmudrā and Dzogchen. In these traditions, a "root guru" gives the "pointing-out instruction" in such a way that the disciple successfully recognizes the "nature of mind."

This conspicuous aspect of Vajrayana Buddhism is esoteric. In this context esoteric means that the transmission of certain accelerating factors only occurs directly from teacher to student during an initiation and cannot be simply learned from a book. The term adhisthana (literally "blessing") refers to the spiritual energy that is received in the mindstream of the aspirant when successful transmission takes place.

Many techniques are also commonly said to be secret, but some Vajrayana teachers have responded that the secrecy itself is not important but only a side-effect of the reality that the techniques have no validity outside the teacher-student lineage. As these techniques are said to be highly effective, when not practiced properly, the practitioner can be harmed physically and mentally. In order to avoid these kind of dangers, the practice is kept secret. Unfortunately, New Agers has today sniffed the possibility of abusing it.

According to the Dalai Lama in the "Tradition of Mahamudra":

The Kagyu system refers to those who manifest clear light mind by relying on the methods for penetrating vital points of the external and internal body as those who progress through graded stages of methods. Such practitioners manifest clear light mind by progressing through stages. Those with sharp faculties, however, may be practitioners for whom everything happens at once. The Nyingma tradition of dzogchen also distinguishes between these two types of practitioners. Those who manifest rigpa, pure awareness, by training through stages involving various practices with the energy-winds, tummo, and so forth are those who progress through graded stages, while those for whom everything happens at once achieve the same by relying solely on meditation on a nonconceptual state of mental consciousness without the practices of the energy channels and energy-winds.

According to one Kagyu text, the method of practice of those for whom everything happens at once is powerful medicine. But it is deadly poison for those who progress through graded stages. In other words, the method of practice of meditating solely on the nonconceptual state of the mind is suited only for those of sharpest faculties. For those who are not of their level, such practice brings only harm, no benefit. For them the medicine acts like a poison.

Kaydrub Norzang-gyatso, in A Lamp for Clarifying Mahamudra to Establish the Single Intention of the Kagyu and Gelug Traditions, has explained that those for whom everything happens at once are persons who have trained extensively through stages either in previous lives or earlier in this life. As a result, meditation on the nonconceptual state of the mind, without need to rely on any further meditation on penetrating vital points of the vajra-body, alone causes clear light mind to manifest so that everything happens at once. Such meditation does this by acting as a circumstance for triggering the ripening of potentials built up from previous practice with energy-winds and so forth, so that they automatically enter, abide and dissolve in the central energy-channel. If a practitioner has not built up these potentials, then no matter how intensively he or she may focus in a nonconceptual state of mind, this person is unable to manifest clear light mind or pure awareness. They lack sufficient causes.

The collective time is a very dangerous intermediate area, if you not are very trained in critical thinking (discrimination) and compassion. The collective time is the area where different kinds of paranormal (philosophical/religious) phenomena are beginning to occur in your daily life. It is especially the lack of understanding this area, that is due to my critique of the many incompetent spiritual teachers you see today in the New Age movement. If you don´t understand what to do, when these phenomena arise, it can end in a spiritual crisis. Though you might have paranormal abilities, then you, spiritual seen, are not necessarily sufficiently awake on these areas, and therefore competent enough to guide other people spiritual.

I have called the collective time for The Spiritual Twilight Zone between the personal and universal time. This is the zone where, for example, the dangerous aspect of euphorical ego-inflation is happening.

If you take Kingsley´s interpretation of Parmenides, Empedocles and Gorgias, literary, a traditionalist could claim that we in them see a decline of wisdom (or that especially Gorgias represents a decline). Sophia means wisdom, while philosophia means love of wisdom. This is an important discernment in Socrates´ refutations of the Sophists. The Sophists claim to have found wisdom, while Socrates is a philosopher. He only loves wisdom, but has no yet found it. He is humble truth seeker, he claims to know nothing, and are asking the Sophist to explain wisdom to him. Whereafter they expose themselves as completely ignorant.

Today there is a striking parallel to this, when you look at the rise of American gurus (sophists in the sense that they claim to be direct channels of wisdom). In his book American Gurus  - From Transcendentalism to New Age Religion, Arthur Versluis describes the Concord School of Philosophy as a traditionalist school directly inspired by Plato´s Academia. He also describes how this was taken over by evolutionists, was distorted, and hereafter closed. Hereafter started the New Age movement of American “enlightened” gurus, with people like Adi Da (Franklin Albert Jones), Ken Wilber, Andrew Cohen, Tony Parsons, etc. These are the most known, but there are literary hundreds of them. It is called the Neo-Advaita movement. Many non-Americans, like Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) and Eckhart Tolle, followed the same line. And coached by Tony Robbins, we see the same in the Indian Oneness movement, which is what you could call an “enlightenment factory”. As everything else in America, the phenomenon is spreading globally.

What is characterizing many of these gurus is the concept of “crazy wisdom”, a thought distortion constructed as an excuse for not being enlightened and a self-contradictory power addict. Crazy Wisdom, or Divine Madness, is central in Kingsley´s work. It is described as being positive.

Not surprisingly, even within the American Advaita Vedanta community, these gurus have come in for significant criticism. In one such analysis, Timothy Conway critiques what he terms “pseudo-Advaita,” whose teachers tend to have the following modus operandi:

1)  Chronic one-up-manship of audience member by demanding “who is asking this question?” to “stay on top by posturing as the Guru of Infinite Awareness mentoring the lowly disciple”,

2)  Chronic attempts to “absolutize” everything onto the “ultimate” or “final” level of truth-discourse (speaking “absolutish,”) causing depersonalization and a zombie-like demeanor,

3)  Going “numb and dumb” in exchanges with other human beings, staring or going silent as a kind of one-upmanship;

4)  Condemning “engaged spirituality” and world-improvement;

5)  Rationalizing away one´s own misbehaviour as a “dream” or “maya”;

6)  Prematurely claiming enlightenment and “ending the search” too soon;

7)  Denigrating devotional or other forms of practice;

8)  Aversion to genuine spiritual education and intuitive-intellectual development (anti-intellectualism shared with fundamentalism and some New Age devotees);

9)   An “attack on the mind,” often resulting in a tranced-out zombie state” for followers;

10)  A “stunted” form of spiritual development based on repetitive cycle of deconstructivist rhetoric, often combined with nihilism and narcissism masquerading as knowledge.

The method comes out of the Indian concept of Satsang, which is a traditional activity in the Indian spiritual context. It is a sitting together with an enlightened person who usually gives a short speech and then answers questions. This typically involves listening to or reading scriptures, reflecting on, discussing and assimilating their meaning, meditating on the source of these words, and bringing their meaning into one’s daily life.

A longtime student of Advaita Vedanta, Dennis Waite published a book, Enlightenment: The Path Through the Jungle, in which he outlined, in numbered aphorisms and paragraphs, his criticisms of Neo-Advaita. Waite describes Neo-Advaita as claiming “bottom-line” conclusions “without having carried out any of the interventing stages.” “It does not admit of any ‘levels’ of reality and does not recognize the existence of a seeker, teacher, Self-ignorance, spiritual path, etc.” Hence Neo-Advaita is essentially a nihilistic belief-system without any real foundation in method or practice.

Waite forthrightly states “the premise of [his] book is that Satsang teaching alone does not bring about enlightenment.”

My own commentary to the long line of "enlightened" gurus in the American neo-advaita environment, is of course ego-inflation, and its endless possibilties of self-deceit. What characterizes them is a lack of compassion and ethical behavior. That´s the way to recognize them. The have met the ancient inertia which I have called Lucifer Morningstar. The only way to pass this guuardian of the threshold is through love and compassion. Heart training and heart opening. And this can only happen in the descend down into your own darkness - see my book, Lucifer Morningstar - a Philosophical Love Story, and my booklet: The Nine Gates of Middle-earth

And here is something extremely important. I have explained it with my extended version of Eckhart Tolle´s painbody. I don´t only view the painbody as a psychological phenomenon, but something which extends deep down into metaphysical realms. The primordial darkness in this realm is the ancient inertia. The East has called this negative karma. The West has called it original sin. I use what I find useful in Eastern philosophy, but if one is a Westerner, we must relate to the concept of original sin. That´s not only our psychology, but also our metaphysical roots. The New Age import of Eastern practices is therefore a dangerous game, though we can certainly find help here.

Paradoxically this is something Jung himself was writing about, and that´s incredible valuable stuff. Also the philosopher Henry Corbin, Kingsley´s teacher, was writing about this. On page 393-394, Kingsley writes:

"When Corbin wanted to illustrate this he turned back, appropriately enough, to western legends of the Grail. The best way of making this point was to quote the beautiful saying: Seule guêrit la blessure la lance qui la fit, 'the wound is only healed by the lance that made it.'

Jung too, was intimately familiar with this same situation in the Grail legend - this impossible task of healing the wound through the instrument that made it. On one hand, this was precisely his task.

On the other, when he talked about it in objective terms, he described this work of returning to heal the gaping wound caused so long ago as the impossible work of the equally impossible saviour or Saophyant; of the precious jewel, father of all prophets, who comes back after thousands of years bringing a completely new revelation.

Is Kingsley/Jung talking about Christ? No, he/Jung is talking about Jung as the return of this saviour. 

The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement is a book by the American psychologist, Richard Noll. In this provocative reassessment of C. G. Jung's thought, Noll boldly argues that such ideas as the "collective unconscious" and the theory of the archetypes come as much from late nineteenth-century occultism, neo- paganism, and social Darwinian teachings as they do from natural science. Noll sees the break with Sigmund Freud in 1912 not as a split within the psychoanalytic movement but as Jung's turning away from science and his founding of a new religion, which offered a rebirth ("individuation"), surprisingly like that celebrated in ancient mystery cult teachings. Jung, in fact, consciously inaugurated a cult of personality centered on himself and passed down to the present by a body of priest-analysts extending this charismatic movement, or "personal religion, " to late twentieth-century individuals. Noll carefully reconstructs the intellectual currents of fin-de-si [it needs to be emphasized, that the main inspirator for Jung´s concept of the archetypes, is Plato].

This is also Kingsley´s message, but he says it as a worshipper of Jung. But he is not in for the cult aspects, and tries to explain it away. Personally I agree with Noll. 

Though Jung Talked a lot about the dangers of psychological inflation, I´m not in doubt about that he was severely ego-inflated by his experiences of nonordinary phenomena. It is no surprise that a main theme in Kingsley´s book is about inflation. Therefore it is also thought provoking that he is not capable of seeing Jung´s ego-inflation. Jung constantly referred to himself as a prophet, a saviour, etc. Instead of looking at such statements with a skeptical eye, Kingsley is swallowing them uncritically. In fact, he takes such statements as: "There, you can see that he was a prophet, he says it himself."

That Jung was ego-inflated also shows in, that he at the end of his life ended up being severely depressed. This is simply called compensatory karma. After having spend so many years flying on the dream about being a prophet, the energy is trying to return to its starting point. It does this by seeking the other extreme, namely the depression. By saying that I´m in no way trying to banalize Jung´s work. Also Van Gogh was in a spiritual crisis. But Jung´s reductionism is a direct path into the spiritual twilight zone, the terrible world where you experience paranormal phenomena, and constantly need to interpret them, and are swinging on the waves of energy. It is the same problem which Grof ended up in. And which Kingsley are continuing. 

It is impossible for Kingsley to find failures in Jung, and all critics are mocked as people without experience. Not even Jung´s obvious reductionism of ancient philosophy and religion is considered a failure, but is seen as a part of his genius work as a prophet. Even Corbin himself warns against reductionism (page 388-89), where he critizices a Jungian, James Hillman, for reducing sufism to Jungian psychology. Kingsley only see this as a problem of a failed Jungian. He don´t see that Jung constantly did this himself, for example, in his misinterpretations of the Tibetan Book of the Dead, where metaphysical realms are reduced to psychological realms. In fact, Jung had difficulty relating to any reality outside his own model of the human psyche. We see something similar in Ken Wilber, and his psychological model.

What Kingsley forgets is that there must be a divine intervention involved in the healing of the Western painbody. This ancient inertia, the original sin, cant be healed through psychotherapy. The only healing is through the intervention from an external divine source. We must therefore keep our faith in an external Otherness which is beyond us. We must return to traditional religion and spiritual practice. That´s my message as a traditionalist. The reduction of everything to psychology is therefore a tragic mistake (see my articles, The Emotional Painbody and Why Psychotherapy Can´t Heal It, and, The Value of Having a Religion in a Spiritual Practice). 

The above-mentioned Neo-advaita modus operandi is present from the first to the last page in Kingsley´s recent works, and it provokes the question whether this is coming from enlightenment (wisdom). Kingsley is all about that reality is an illusion and that: “he [Empedocles] is sabotaging it from the inside “ (Reality, page 424). It no coincidence that the book is called Reality, since the whole premise is that reality doesn´t exist, and that there is another (postulated) reality, which we should enter into through trance states. Trance is a word that repeat itself several times, and has hardly anything to do with enlightenment. The methods to achieve this is through sophistry, which according to Kingsley is magic. This is what Kingsley suggests, fully in line with the American Neo-Advaita teachers. Because the fact is that his books are a Neo-Advaita inspired form of Satsangs.

But it is not only Neo-Advaita, which Kingsley in inspired by. Kingsley´s own interpretation can, if one knows about it, quickly be traced to American New Age religion with roots in different movements such as new thought, counterculture, chaos magic, and spiritual evolutionism. Verluis´s book is a brilliant handbook in this. What´s frustrating is that Kingsley doesn´t mention his sources of inspiration. But besides Kingsley´s own interpretations, you can find hints in for example the people who have written reviews of his books. Eckhart Tolle, for example, has written positive reviews. And it is easy to track the similarities with Tolle in the anti-thinking approach. Another reviewer is Michael Baigent, who is known for the pseudohistorical work The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. It is unlikely that Baigent would have been printed in the book, if Kingsley not had sympathies with his theories. I will return to this in the below comments area.

Who are Kingsley´s main sources of inspirations? In the beginning of Catafalque he mentions two: Carl Jung and Henry Corbin. Corbin could be the reason for Kingsley´s interest in Sufism. But if we take into consideration the philosophy Kingsley is advocating then it would be illustrating to draw in something that sounds very similar, namely chaos magic. Carl Jung is namely a completely central figure in chaos magic. Furthermore, chaos magic is a postmodern form of magic. When we take this into consideration, it seems that we have a clear overview of a puzzle, because the postmodern influence can explain a lot of Kingsley´s deconstructivist claims.

For example, Kingsley claims that Empedocles is “sabotaging” reality (Reality, page 424). This kind of language is also used in chaos magic. Take for example the chaos magician Peter Lamborn Wilson (aka Hakim Bey), who in his book Taz: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism is speaking the same “magical” language (note that Wilson in Iran translated classical Persian texts with Henry Corbin). Poetic terrorism. Wilson advocates some kind of postmodern Sufism, and the book can be seen as an intellectual justification of Islamic terrorism. In postmodernism, there is namely no discrimination between fiction and fact. Wilson has also written postmodern justifications of pedophilia. He is very much into sex with small boys. In fact, he just follows a long line of other postmodernists justifying pedophilia: Wilhelm Reich, Gilles Deleuze, Daniel Cohn Bendit, Tony Duvert, Gabriel Matzneff, René Schérer, Michel Foucault. Just to illustrate what postmodern “logic” can be used for. Perhaps the Catholic priests accused of pedophilia have read too much postmodernism on their studies. That might sound surprising. What´s not surprising, to me, is when we find out how many of the Islamic terrorists in fact are highly educated from Western Universities, where postmodernism rules everything. 

After the publication of Reality, Kingsley began to offer retreats and teachings, some of which are available on videos from Golden Sufi Center (for example this, Approaching the Heart). Update: these videos have been removed. However, on YouTube, you can find this video, which is an introduction to Jung:

Note how strikingly similar to Tolle, he sounds. It is a trance-inducing technique of hypnosis often used in psychotherapy cults. A way of inducing your own ideology into the listener. More about Tolle in the comments area). If you read Catafalogue (page 238-240) you can find one of the explanations of why Kingsley is using such a hypnotic way of speaking. It is inspired by the counterculture hero Allen Ginsberg, and his poem "Howl" from the 1954s. Ginsberg is pictured as a shaman and prophet. Again we see Kingsley´s roots in the counterculture movement, and therefore in postmodernism (I will emphasize that this is extremely fascinating reading, and I´m deeply thankful to have discovered Kingsley´s description of prophets). 

Versluis says that the US Satsang networking site, featured Kingsley, Eckhart Tolle, John de Ruiters, and many others. So, Kingsley is somehow associated with it, whether or not this is something he himself would approve. What´s without question is that Kingsley is related to Eckhart Tolle.

Kingsley´s books, In the Dark Places of Wisdom, Reality and A Story, are all published by The Golden Sufi Center. If you think about the Indo-European historicist topics in Kingsley´s work, his appreciation of Sufism is not a surprise. But we need to look at the Empedocles inspired Sufism, which also lies behind postmodern Sufism (Reality, page 442-445). Because Sufism has also been inspired by Plotinus, and this is more in compliance with the above-mentioned traditionalist school.

Now, if we return to the sophists, then Conway´s critique of Neo-Advaita teachers could be compared to Plato´s critique of the Sophists. Socrates´ method of elenchos could therefore be seen as something new, a reaction to the decline of wisdom. Or maybe it is a rediscovery of something much older, the ancient origins of philosophy, which we can read about in the Vedas? Several scholars have recognized parallels between the philosophy of Pythagoras and Plato and that of the Upanishads, including their ideas on sources of knowledge, concept of justice and path to salvation, and Plato's allegory of the cave. Platonic psychology with its divisions of reason, spirit and appetite, also bears resemblance to the three gunas in the Indian philosophy of Samkhya.

Various mechanisms for such a transmission of knowledge have been conjectured including Pythagoras traveling as far as India; Indian philosophers visiting Athens and meeting Socrates; Plato encountering the ideas when in exile in Syracuse; or, intermediated through Persia.

But the ideas could also have developed independently, because if you directly experience the mystical source of wisdom, the discoveries would be the same. Just look at the Aboriginals and their Dreamtime philosophy, and how strikingly similar it is to Pythagoras´ Music of the Spheres, and Plato´s World of Forms.

And, according to the Vedas, our time, the Kali Yuga, is a time of decline of wisdom. This might be what Plato saw.

Kingsley´s work is what you could call sophistic storytelling in opposition to philosophical storytelling. In my book A Dictionary of Thought Distortions, I explained a thought distortion called Confabulation. I wrote that it would be interesting to follow, what the next story New Agers would come up with in order to get philosophy eliminated in favor of sophism. I have written about The WingMakers Project as quite a genius attempt. But right now Kingsley´s work is number one on the list. 

However, this doesn´t hide the fact that there is a treasure of valuable stuff in Kingsley, which I have been highly inspired by. You can for example begin with my article, Philosophy as a Rite of Rebirth (a Shamanic Ritual). But, while Kingsley appears as a promoter of that the ancient philosophers also were mystics and prophets, he turns out to be a worshipper of the psychologist Carl Jung as world savior, and an advocate of the "necessity" of reducing religion and philosophy to Western psychology. This implies the "necessity" of cultural appropriation and therefore the destruction of other peoples´ cultures and traditions. He carries out this piece of New Age colonialism with a profundity that makes him top the list of Matrix Sophists.

Related links with comments:

Comment in relation to this book:

On page 77-78 in Reality, we meet the Berkeley inspired subjective idealism, which is so typical for New Age. Subjective idealism is the metaphysical theory, that reality is a product of our minds. Kingsley´s claim that reality therefore is a total illusion is based on the premise that subjective idealism is an absolutely true metaphysical theory. But such a premise must, according to itself, itself be an illusion. The theory is therefore self-refuting, or, with Kingsley´s words: self-sabotaging.

Subjective idealism is continued in Jung, another of Kingsley´s heroes. Well, he is not only a hero, but something like a world savior to Kingsley, a prophet and an enlightened master renewing a line of former enlightened masters. Kingsley writes about Jung in his book Catafalque - Carl Jung and the End of Humanity. His view of Jung as an enlightened master is not my exaggeration (see page 281-82, 293, 303). He also describes Jung´s Red Book as a new bible, a new testament (page 280). In my view Jung was not enlightened, and he made a huge mistake in his reductionism. He was in a spiritual crisis, due to a kundalini awakening. He therefore had an opening to the collective images of time. The opening to the collective images of time, the creation of genius works, and the possibility of, either choosing spirituality, or ego-inflation (a Faustian pact with the devil), is quite central in my own work. Something similar unfolded in the life of Karen Blixen - see my free Ebook, Karen Blixen - The Devil´s Mistress. I am therefore grateful that Kingsley has gone into these very esoterical things. But it is dissapointing that he falls into the trap of sophism.

Catafalque is in this way New Age philosophy from beginning to end. It is just fitted into some quite profound scholarly clothing, mixed with deep intuitive truths about spiritual development. But we also have the claim, that it is necessary to reduce religion (and philosophy) to psychology. It is interesting that Kingsley, on page 201, is telling about Plato, who to Jung always had been the classical example of a theorist full of smart ideas but unable to apply them in practice. You shall look long after such a distortion of Plato. Furthermore: the whole of Jung´s psychology is, if not directly a plagiarism, then fundamentally based on Plato´s philosophy.

Jung simply reduces Plato´s objective idealism (the objective world of archetypes) to subjective idealism (the subjective world of archetypes). The whole metaphysical world is now planted within the human psyche, a move which opens the path into ego-inflations of solipsistic dimensions.  He does this through some intermediary sources, as for example the metaphysical Lebensphilosophia from the romantic era (irrationalism), neo-paganism, theosophy, social Darwinism, occultism, Richard Wagner worship, and Nietzsche´s theory about the superhuman, who shall replace God. It is no surprise that inflation is such a central theme in Jung, and in Kingsley´s work about him.

Jung´s, and therefore Kingsley´s, view, is that psychology has to replace religion. Read about this on page 277-279. On these pages it is also stated that wisdom, and therefore philosophy, needs to be replaced by psychology.

Herewith we have the explanation of why New Age today reduces everything to psychology. It is clear that with reductionisms such as psychologism and historicism, universal truth is reduced to subjectivism and relativism. Therewith the foundation for the perennial philosophy is removed. It is also in this neo-pagan, and anti-Christian environment, you can find pseudohistorical postulations that questions the historical life of Jesus. We see this in Ernst Haeckel´s evolutionary pseudohistory, a fundamental inspiration for Jung´s theories. And today we find the same in the above-mentioned reviewer of Kingsley´s book, Michael Baigent, who is a psychologist and freemason. He co-wrote a number of books that question mainstream perceptions of history and the life of Jesus (see my article, The Prior of Sion Hoax). He is best known as co-writer of the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail, a theme Dan Brown is working on in his novel The Da Vinci Code. In other words: we have to go to Germany in order to find the roots of the counterculture movement in USA, and therefore for New Age. It is known as Lebensreform. And it is here we have to find the roots of Kingsley´s philosophy. The beginning of Catafalque is namely starting with Kingsley giving a lecture at Eranos. And only a few pages later you will find that Kingsley is claiming that the Crucifixion is a diabolical historical twisting created by Christian Doctrine – page 40. Kingsley doesn´t mention the problem of reductionism with one single word.

See following articles on the above-mentioned problems with reductionism: 1) The Devastating New Age Turn Within Psychotherapy, 2) Humanistic Psychology, Self-help and the Danger of Reducing Religion to Psychology (shows how this is creating a line of modern psychopaths), and, 3) Self-help and the Mythology of Authenticity (longer description of how religion today has been replaced by psychology - so, nothing new about that). 

About the following rise of spiritual vampires, see my free Ebook: Lucifer Morningstar - a Philosophical Love Story (Jung was himself a spiritual predator in his psychotherapeutic practice, as shown by Jeffrey Masson in his book, Against Therapy. In fact, Lucifer Morningstar deals with precisely the same issues as Kingsley´s Catalafalque: the descend into the underworld, the meeting with nonordinary energies, the problem of ego-inflation, and the coming global catastrophes. But the whole thing is viewed from another angle, namely Karen Blixen. In fact, all my work is about this. 

Comment in relation to this book:

In this Ebook I describe the rise of scientism and therefore the different kinds of reductionisms. Like Tolle, Kingsley is adopting evolutionistic views in order to explain the rise and fall of civilizations. This is his goal in A Story, and in Catafalque. Kingsley adopts some kind of historicism, very much like that of Oswald Spengler´s The Decline of the West. Kingsley could very well have adopted it from other similar historicisms. But I will use Spengler as an illustration of the same. With Spengler we namely have another theorist with an apparently traditionalist world view, but who has adopted the very modern, Eurocentric ideology of evolutionism. He is an evolutionist in the sense that his work is reductionist and historistic, and therefore modern.

Spengler introduces his book as a "Copernican overturning" involving the rejection of the Eurocentric view of history, especially the division of history into the linear "ancient-medieval-modern" rubric (his own theory is also linear, though in a reversed form, and Kingsley is also just changing the line a bit) According to Spengler, the meaningful units for history are not epochs but whole cultures which evolve as organisms (note the word evolve).

He recognizes at least eight high cultures: Babylonian, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Mesoamerican (Mayan/Aztec), Classical (Greek/Roman), Arabian, and Western or "European-American". Cultures have a lifespan of about a thousand years of flourishing, and a thousand years of decline. The final stage of each culture is, in his word use, a "civilization". Spengler also presents the idea of Muslims, Jews and Christians, as well as their Persian and Semitic forebears, being 'Magian'; Mediterranean cultures of the antiquity such as Ancient Greece and Rome being 'Apollonian'; and the modern Westerners being 'Faustian'. According to Spengler, the Western world is ending and we are witnessing the last season—"winter time"—of Faustian Civilization. In Spengler's depiction, Western Man is a proud but tragic figure because, while he strives and creates, he secretly knows the actual goal will never be reached.

What we should note about Kingsley´s own historicism, is its roots in Jung and Jung´s own sources of inspiration in German lebensphilosophie, neo-paganism, völkish and Indo-European mysticism, and how all this has created the counterculture movement and eventually New Age. If we see Kingsley in this light the puzzle seems quite clear. He has a longing after the Hyberboreans, a typical topic in the Völkisch longing after their mystical roots.

With Jung we also have the top-heavy Indo-European fixation in the upper chakras, and neglect of the lower chakras. This follows directly due to the influence from evolutionism, and its focus on higher and higher levels and states of evolution. And this explains the ego-inflation in the Neo-Advaita teachers, and on the whole of New Age - see my article The Ego-inflation in the New Age and Self-help Environment.

Also remember Nietzsche´s replacement of God with the superhuman. This obsession with an opening of the upper chakras alone is, in my view, caused by demonical influence. I have termed it The Conspiracy of the Third Eye.

In the beginning of Catafalque we can read some interesting things about Jung´s "mystical" experiences, and how he kept madness away by refusing to identify himself with the archetypes he experienced. Anybody who have lived through a spiritual crisis, can recognize that Jung had a spiritual crisis (he was not enlightened), and that he, despite my critique, was into something very important when experiencing non-ordinary states of consciousness: the art of discrimination. Discrimination is the tool to avoid ego-inflation: separating yourself from energies which not are your own, so that your ego doesn´t identify with them. Discrimination is also the final step into enlightenment: keeping your focus in the form of consciousness (Tibetan: Rigpa) no matter what content it might be filled with. This is actually logic in a nutshell, and what Plato wrote about, and which Socrates performed with his use of elenchos, refutation. My own book, A Dictionary of Thought Distortions, is in fact a kind of philosophical diary of how I myself, through logic and critical thinking, worked myself out the illusion of New Age, and the Matrix Conspiracy, and therewith also came out of my spiritual crisis, and into stillness.

In his psychologism and chaos magic, Kingsley is completely sabotaging this ancient art. On pages 16 to 18 in Catafalque he begins telling the story of, how his own special duty of “shocking people into awareness” have been confirmed by many traditions within the Native Americans, among other the Cherokee, Lakota, Hopi. Thus should indicate Kingsley´s own prophetic role. 

After having told this story, Kingsley presents the archetype of the trickster, which also is the archetype of the prophet. He connects this archetype with himself. And now comes the most amusing, or tragic: he claims, that it is discrimination that causes inflation, hubris and egoism. That discrimination has removed our connection with the sacred. In his postmodernism he can´t discriminate between fact and fiction, and therefore not between archetypes and the sacred. So, therefore he claims that the correct is to identify yourself with an archetype because then you identify yourself with the sacred and is therefore unselfish (page 24, 28, 30). According to Kingsley, discrimination is therefore a distorted logic. This distorted logic is created by Plato and the Platonists (page 31-33). 

The whole book is about inflation, and how prophets (for example Jung), warns against phenomena such as collective ego-inflation. I completely agree with that. But the whole book is also a paradoxical guide into ego-inflation. And a paradoxical picture of, both Jung´s own ego-inflation (which he had a faint sense of), and the inflated views of him as a prophet. 

Kingsley ends the book by telling about his own prophetic dreams and returns to the story he told in the beginning. Again we see how he is lost in interpretations and speculations over his mystical experiences and dreams. The end of humanity is in reality about giving up our rationality, and entering into irrationalism. That will indicate the New Age. It is almost funny to listen to how he claims the "necessity" in that we strip ourselves completely of everything we know (very postmodern), and at the same are introducing a massivity of interpretations and speculations over Jung, which he wants us to discover. I have already mentioned the problem of cultural appropriation.

Kingsley is, like other New Agers, claiming that Jung, and therefore himself, nothing have in common with New Age. And yet, Jung was talking about the coming age of Aquarius. And so is Kingsley. He just says that we must go through must worse crises than the ones New Age is claiming. 

At the final pages he is presenting his own evolutionistic ideas. Ergo: evolutionistic New Age ideology from beginning to end.

Kingsley is cleverly closing the door to enlightenment, and opening the door to the many forms of trance-induced ego-inflations (or other types of spiritual crises). Once again we have a New Ager lecturing about nonordinary states of consciousness, and completely confusing the stages of development, because he has sabotaged our rationality, and therefore our ability to discriminate.

3) Donald Trump – a Gift (blog post)

Comment in relation to this blog post:

 In this blog post I explain how evolutionism can justify anything. The Decline of the West is for example an intellectual influence of Nazism. In A Story Kingsley is coming with some claims about that the violence of Djenghis Khan is good for the change of civilizations because it is coming from a divine source (Mongolian shamanism) and that the violence of Soviet was bad. There is no other argumentation for why these forms of violence can be divided into good and bad. He also distinguishes Mongolian shamanism which he associates with the Bön tradition of ancient Tibet, from Tibetan Buddhism, which he claims has arisen due to suppression of the Bön shamanic tradition. Also this is considered bad, since it suppresses the Mongolian [divine] influence. Later Tibetan Masters (tulkus) are therefore considered to be distorted versions of Mongolian shamans.

In my own philosophical counseling practice, I avoid the techniques of trance used in the shamanic traditions. Instead I´m inspired by Tibetan Dream Yoga, which is developed out of shamanism. Here you can see shamanic dream techniques refined into a path of enlightenment. You can see a similar refinement in Plato, and therefore in Plotinus, whose metaphysical writings have inspired centuries of Pagan, Islamic, Jewish, Christian, and Gnostic metaphysicians and mystics. It is therefore interesting how Kingsley in both cases (Tibetan Buddhism and Neo-Platonism), seeks to create a historical break when these two ways of refinement started, and instead is claiming that this development not is refinement, but distortions. The answer to why this is the case, could be that he, in compliance with chaos magic, doesn´t believe in objective truth, and therefore not in enlightenment either (enlightenment is an experience of complete objectivity).  He is more interested in trance states, or states of ecstasy. In the same way as Stanislav Grof he is interested in all the so-called "nonordinary" states of consciousness, which I, a bit provocative, characterize as nothing else than forms of spiritual crises (included ego-inflation). Such extreme states have nothing to do with a real state of awakening, and ought to be avoided.  I completely agree with Plato here, and, by the way, what most other spiritual masters also say. Kingsley seems to believe that it is the extremity of the experiences that decides the truth-level.

4) The Eckhart Tolle Show (blog post)

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Before Eckhart Tolle became a New Age guru, he was a scholar in England. In his early twenties, he decided to pursue his search by studying philosophy, psychology, and literature, and enrolled in the University of London. After graduating, he was offered a scholarship to do postgraduate research at Cambridge University, which he entered in 1977 but dropped out soon after. One night in 1977, at the age of 29, after having suffered from long periods of depression, Tolle says he experienced an "inner transformation". After this period, former Cambridge students and people he had met by chance began to ask Tolle about his beliefs. He began working as a counselor and spiritual teacher. Students continued to come to him over the next five years. He relocated to Glastonbury, a major centre of New Age. In 1995, after having visited the West Coast of North America several times, he settled in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he met his future wife, Kim Eng.

Peter Kingsley attended Highgate School, in north London, until 1971. He graduated with honours from the University of Lancaster in 1975, and went on to receive the degree of Master of Letters from the University of Cambridge after study at King's College; subsequently, he was awarded a PhD by the University of London. A former Fellow of the Warburg Institute in London, Kingsley has been made an honorary professor both at Simon Fraser University in Canada and at the University of New Mexico. He has lectured widely in North America. Kingsley has noted in public interviews that he is sometimes misunderstood as a scholar who gradually moved away from academic objectivity to a personal involvement with his subject matter. However, Kingsley himself has stated that he is, and always has been, a mystic, and that his spiritual experience stands in the background of his entire career, not just his most recent work. In Catafalque he describes how he left his job as a teacher.

So, here there seems to be an explanation of why Eckhart Tolle has written reviews of Kingsley´s books, and why they both share the same ideas. They might very well have met as scholars, and been interested in the same topics. Besides the similarities in their writings, it would be interesting to know what the connection between them consists in.

In contrast to Kingsley, Tolle doesn´t talk much about how much a scholar he in fact is, and how much intellectuality there is lying behind his whole guru practice.

In the same way as Tolle, Kingsley is an anti-thinker and an outspoken irrationalist. And if you listen to the above-mentioned videos you can hear how he, in his voice, uses the same technique of hypnotic trance-induction as Tolle. 

If you have information about the relationship between Kingsley and Eckhart Tolle, please tell about it in the comments area.  

Kingsley believes that Plato´s mistake was that logos and reason here for the first time was connected with thinking (Reality, p. 132). Instead Kingsley talks about “Divine Logic” and compares it with “Holy madness” since there is no discrimination between oppositions in the divine reality. It is nondual reality. But this is an example of a lack of ability to discriminate between levels of reality, which is characteristic for the Neo-Advaita movement. I explain this in the Tolle article. The concept of Holy madness, or crazy wisdom is today an excuse widely used by false gurus for their unethical behavior. It is a form of doublethink, and therefore gaslightning; both of which are rhetorical forms of psychic terrorism, which are loved by postmodernists. Postmodernists are, of course the direct heirs of University Marxism   - see my article Doublethink about George Orwell´s novel 1984, and the rhetoric used by the Rulers. In the end of my article Feminism as Fascism, I give examples of how postmodernists today are terrorizing the Universities, and how I myself has been a target. 

Comment to this blog post:

Kingsley, and his supporters, keeps on talking about how suppressed the knowledge he is revealing is, and how revolutionary it is. This is true when it comes to the suppression of the spiritual roots of philosophy. But it is not true when it comes to Kingsley´s postmodernism, and his worship of the sophists. On the contrary, we find the return of the Sophists everywhere in popular culture. Three examples:

1)  Fantasyland - How America Went Haywire: A 500-year History, is a book by Kurt Andersen, which is an alternative explanation of how Donald Trump became president. The relevance is its focus on the rise of relativism and subjectivism (sophism), and the conscious attempt of blurring the line between illusion and reality. An interesting aspect is that Andersen, like me, sees how relativism and subjectivism are embraced by both the right and left. 

2)  The Closing of the American Mind - How Higher Education has Failed Education and Impoverished the Souls of Today´s Students, is a book by Allan Bloom. Bloom explains this by showing the rise of nihilism and the embracement of Nietzsche.

3)  The Age of American Unreason in a Culture of Lies, is a book by Susan Jacoby, which is the history about how Americans today have embraced "junk thought" that makes almost no effort to separate fact from opinion.

The same popularity is the case with the Jung created New Age psychotherapies. So, what seems more likely is, that philosophy today is suppressed and distorted by postmodernists, our time´s new sophists.

Kingsley´s thoughts are provocative in that they directly support the sophists and that they in their anti-intellectualism openly seeks to destroy philosophy. But his thoughts about that philosophy has its origin in pagan spiritual practice is not his own discovery. We also see it in Pierre Hadot, who in opposition to Kingsley sees Socrates as the main spiritual teacher.  

All in all: Kingsley opens the door to Another Story Waiting to Pierce You, namely that of

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