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Publisher's Summary

Imagination is a core aspect of being human. Our imagination allows us to fully experience ourselves in relation to the world and reality. Imagination plays a key role in creativity and innovation. 

Since the 17th century, however, imagination has been sidelined and dismissed as "make believe". Four centuries ago, a new way of knowing the world and ourselves emerged in the west and has gone on to dominate human life: science. 

Imagination has been marginalized - depicted as a way of escaping reality, rather than coming to grips with it - and its significance to our humanity has been downplayed. Yet as we move further into the strange new world of the 21st century, the need to regain this lost knowledge seems more necessary that ever before. 

This insightful and inspiring book argues that, for the sake of the future of our world, we must redress the balance. Through the work of Owen Barfield, Goethe, Henry Corbin, Kathleen Raine, and others, and ranging from the teachings of ancient mystics to the latest developments in neuroscience, The Lost Knowledge of the Imagination introduces the listener to a philosophy and tradition that restores imagination to its rightful place, and argues that it is not only essential to our knowing reality to the full, but to our very humanity itself.

©2017 Floris Books (P)2018 SpokenTome.media

What listeners say about The Lost Knowledge of the Imagination

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Atrocious narration

The book seems great, but it’s impossible to follow a reader who pays no attention to punctuation and seems to never breath. He just powers through the whole thing, from the first syllable in the book, to the last. I would recommend you buy the book and forget the audio edition.

7 people found this helpful

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Good ideas, terrible narration

It's like the narrator ignored all punctuation! there are some complex ideas described, and lots of important players, but the narrator just bulldozes over everything in a hurry. Pro tip: set your app to 0.95 or 0.9 reading speed so at least you can follow it - yes, make it go slower than usual! The book itself is Lachman's usual sweeping story of ideas on the need for an intuitive and creative thinking to match our rational and linear one. The author flows easily from Plato to Heidegger and spending time with poets, most notably Kathleen Raine.

2 people found this helpful

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A deep book with that got screwed by the narration

The problem with this audiobook is not the book itself. It's not even really the narrator's fault. The true culprit here is whoever edited the recordings. I've done some audiobook narration, and what it sounds like to me is that all of the natural breaths between words, sentences, and paragraphs have been edited out, post-recording. No human reads the way the narrator does here -- nonstop, no breathing -- so I don't believe Leslie James did that. If I had to guess, I'd say whoever got the finished tapes to edit was instructed to bring this audiobook in at under 5 hours, no excuses. To accomplish that, the sound editor not only clipped out the spaces between words, but also sped the recording up. I made it through Lost Knowledge of the Imagination by playing it at 85% speed in the Audible app. It still wasn't completely natural because the breaths stayed gone. But it was at least intelligible. LKotI is a fascinating, if short, book. Lachlan is a talented and experienced writer in these topics. Neither he nor Leslie James deserved this treatment from the publisher.

1 person found this helpful

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I Highly Recommend This Book (but not the audio version)

Yet another brilliant work of scholarship from the extremely prolific writer of philosophy and esoterica, Gary Lachman. I own quite a large collection of his many many works (as of this writing only two are available in audio format) and this is one of his best studies yet. This review however is less about the book, which is quite brilliant as I said, and more about it's narration. It is greatly underserved with a quite poor job of narration. I am sure Gary Lachman is aware of this; I hope it won't discourage him from making more of his works available on Audible. It is safe to say he very likely had no input regarding the choice of narration. His other audiobook on Audible entitled "Dark Star Rising" is also very good AND it has a perfectly fine narration. Yet, "The Lost Knowledge of the Imagination" is in many ways the better book; you'd never know it though because the narration is so poor. In short, I know that in the world of book publishing writers often have little (sometimes zero) control over such things as cover design and often even the book title itself. Still, publishers generally do a pretty good job at those details. Now, in the age of the audiobook, publishers must work more closely than ever -- with the author -- to find the right person to read books aloud.

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Enlightening content. We'll researched! Just what I was looking for on the topic. Didn't enjoy the narrator unfortunately.

1 person found this helpful

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in search of balancing polarities

such a great book. the author provides excellent examples to build the case that both analytical and imaginative forms of knowledge are necessary. the vast number of sources and his ability to connect the dots proves his own theory.

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A great book but - get hard copy

I love the book, but the listening is extremely challenging. As other reviewers have stated, it’s completely lacking in any semblance of natural pacing.

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Lackluster narration detracts from Lachman’s excellent message.

The narrator doesn’t seem to recognize periods as stopping points. He reads the sections with some inflection but overall the otherwise excellent content is relayed as one/ many long, run-on sentences. Very distracting.

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A worldwide tour of consciousness in 5 hours

Gary Lachman, popular historian of consciousness and esoteric thought, presents what may be at once the most wide-ranging and simultaneously sharply focused books of his career. It’s the story of a moment when human thought changed, and the consequences and possibilities branching out from that turning point. In the era of the Greek philosophers, the rational, reductionist concept of science gave humankind a newfound mastery of the world — but it lost contact with the holistic, intuitive knowledge of the imagination, which has survived in a subterranean golden thread woven throughout history, connecting the lives of alchemists, Qabalists, Sufi mystics, Romantic poets, and 20th Century scholars and occultists. From Pythagoras, to Newton, to Goethe, to Swedenborg, to William Blake, to Crowley, to Rudolf Steiner, to Einstein, they’re all woven into this grand tapestry — along with remarkable figures you may never have heard of, though you’ll undoubtedly be chasing down more information. (Chapter 4 of this book kind of blew my mind with its introduction to Suhrawardi, a 12th Century Sufi, the “Murdered Mystic” whose description of the imaginal realms between matter and spirit explains so much.) Briskly paced, enlightening, and breathtaking in scope. Leslie James’s confident voice navigates us warmly and invitingly through these strange tides. (My only quibbles are that I wish this dense material had just a l-i-t-t-l-e more breathing room in its dizzying pace — and Gary lost me a bit with a rather conservative stance on modern art in the final chapters, a thought-provoking bit of editorializing that I just don’t happen to agree with entirely.) Strongly recommended, inspiring, educational & deeply fascinating.

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WorstNarrationEverNoPausingEverFast

I’mWritingThisReviewInAWayThatMimicsTheExeperienceOfListeningToThisBookThereIsNoBreathTakenAndTheNarratorAppearsToHaveAGunToHisHeadAndHasToFinishTheBookAtDoubleSpeedI’mNotSureThatTheNarratorUnderstandsTheMaterialOrIfHeTookADoubkeDoseOfAderall In short there is more pause and punctuation in this review than in the book. It’s almost worth listening to to see if he comes up for air once. You can play a drinking game where you take a drink every time a sentence ends and another begins and you can drive to church totally sober. Buy the print edition. Book material is great.

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  • Generic Nomenclature
  • 09-02-18

Good book but narration problems

There is much to enjoy and think about in this book (if you liked McGilchrist's 'The Master and his Emissary' then you will probably like this) but the narrator machine guns the words at you. I have slowed the speed down but, Terminator like, he just keeps on without pausing for breath or punctuation (Kyle Reese to Sarah Connor: "That [narrator] is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear and it absolutely will not stop - ever - until you are dead"). The unstoppable narration makes it harder to absorb the ideas - just be prepared for that. Bon chance mes braves!

5 people found this helpful

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  • anonymous
  • 08-03-18

Narrated by a robot

I’m fascinated by Gary Lachlan’s books and own most of what he’s written. So, when this new offering was made available on audiobook, I purchased without hesitation. Unfortunately, it seems to be narrated by a robot who wasn’t programmed to ever take a breath. The result is an exceedingly un-pleasurable listen. To the publishers of Mr. Lachlan’s books: Please do better! This work deserves better.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Russ261
  • 01-27-20

Awful Narration Rendered the Content Inaccessible

I have great respect for the author of this text however the narration turns this otherwise interesting content into a data dump with no time to come up for air like a stream of non stop data.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gerry Taylor
  • 10-21-19

An interesting book ruined by the narration.

Feel this book would have been more enjoyable and engaging had it not been for the dreadful narration which is far too fast and barely above monotone. Avoid thy is version.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • J Williams
  • 06-19-18

Great thesis of thought

More than food for thought. Validity of arguements on why we have imagination and the effect of its current lack of use. The reader sounds a little robotic at first...bear with...the content of the book is worth hanging into there!

1 person found this helpful