This extraordinary book uncovers an astonishing reality that lies unsuspected right at the origins of the western world. The documents, the discoveries, the people that it describes are all as real as we are. But the story it has to tell is far stranger than any fiction, because this is the story of ourselves.

Paperback. 255 pages. First published December 1999.

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Este libro también está disponible en español.




A set of ancient inscriptions on marble found forty years ago in southern Italy, recording details so bewildering that scholars have kept silent about them …

Strange evidence about a tradition of people who were mystics but who were so intensely practical that, two and a half thousand years ago, they shaped our existence and the world we live in. And yet they did this with a purpose we’ve completely forgotten …

These are just two ingredients of this extraordinary book, which uncovers an astonishing reality that lies unsuspected right at the origins of the western world. Our dramatic failure to acknowledge or come to grips with that reality is what has been responsible for so much of the emptiness — of the sense of something missing — in our modern lives.

In the Dark Places of Wisdom is no work of fiction. The documents, the discoveries, the people that it describes are all as real as we are. But the story it has to tell is far stranger than any fiction, because this is the story of ourselves.ᅠ


“One of the most interesting books I’ve ever read is a book by Peter Kingsley called In the Dark Places of Wisdom. Wisdom wasn’t just a matter of books. It was about going into the unconscious and minding the treasures of the unconscious through vision, dream, trance, and intuition; getting in touch with reality from within. And those are the kinds of secrets that we have lost in our whole western world.”

author of The Woman with the Alabaster Jar and The Feminine Face of Christianity

“This remarkable book speaks with equal power to the scholar and the seeker alike. To absorb what it says is to encounter a completely new vision of the ancient world that lies at the root of our own civilization. Right there, at our own feet, lies a forgotten tradition that has the power to transform all our views about our culture and our life.”

author of Lost Christianity and The Heart of Philosophy

“With its surprisingly fresh and original approach, In the Dark Places of Wisdom includes a wealth of suggestions and observations hardly ever made before… The philosophical and mystical roots of Western civilization start to appear in a completely new light.”

author of Greek Religion and Ancient Mystery Cults

“This beautiful book is a transmission of life and wisdom.”

EL MUNDO (Madrid, Spain)

“Peter Kingsley is a master excavator of lost and hidden meanings. He accomplishes nothing less than giving us a new pair of eyes by which to see the true philosophical and spiritual depth of the ancient world upon which our own civilization is built. In the beautiful and penetrating language of an accomplished storyteller, he shows the absolute relevance of history and wisdom to our own present life.”

author of The Yoga Tradition and Tantra, the Path of Ecstasy

“Quite simply a masterpiece: a work of immaculate, luminous scholarship which recovers for Western civilization the treasures of wisdom discarded by Plato over 2000 years ago. No-one could fail to respond to this story or be moved by the poetic prose which takes us ‘as far as longing can reach’ and opens a door into depths which have never been recognized, let alone explored by our culture.”

co-author of The Myth of the Goddess and The Mystic Vision

“Compelling, fascinating, hard to put down. Told in a direct, lucid style the story reads like an intriguing detective novel. Each page reveals new depths of thought — revelations that can serve us today if we are to survive the contemporary illusions of reality that are poisoning our souls.”

author of Bless MeUltima and Tortuga

“This gives me great hope, the dawning of insight. It is a very important book that at last brings the past to life and true relevance again — a pioneering effort in recovering the origins of our humanity and uncovering the source from which each of us springs.”

editor of Parabola

In the Dark Places of Wisdom has been translated into:

German, as Die Traumfahrt des Parmenides. Die mystischen Wurzeln der westlichen Zivilisation, by Wolfgang Krüger Verlag

Greek, as Sta mustika merê tês archaias ellênikês sophias, by Dioptra Publishing

Italian, as Nei luoghi oscuri della saggezza, by Marco Tropea Editore

Dutch, as Verborgen plaatsen van wijsheid, by Uitgeverij Ankh-Hermes

Chinese (traditional), as Tzai tze huai de an tsu, by New Century Publishing

Chinese (mainland simplified), by Beijing Huayu Huanke Culture Development Co.

Persian, as Zavaayaaye Tarik e Hekmat, by Sokhan Publishing

Spanish, as En los oscuros lugares del saber, by Ediciones Atalanta

Turkish, as Bati Hikmetinin Bilinmeyen Tarihi, by Etkilesim Yayinlari

French, as Dans les antres de la sagesse, by Les Belles Lettres


Additional information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 5.5 × .7 × 8.5 in