• The Lost Knowledge of the Imagination

  • By: Gary Lachman
  • Narrated by: Leslie James
  • Length: 4 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (58 ratings)

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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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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

9 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.

5 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.

3 people 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.

1 person found this helpful

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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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Ridiculous reading

First, I will say that I've loved every book I've obtained by Gary Lachman, beginning with "A Secret History of Consciousness." He shares his broad knowledge of esoteric and occult history, placing each step and individual in the context of general history and and the various streams of philosophical and spiritual inquiry. I'm familiar with much of what he has to say in his books, but I love how he connects the dots and fits it all together. I had been looking forward to beginning this book, and perhaps I should have read these reviews before hand, though I probably would have bought the book anyway.

The narrator is one of the worst I've ever heard. Each chapter seems to be one long sentence, and I even began to wonder if the book was being read by a computer. The material is all there, but it is nearly impossible to absorb the full meaning behind the words being read. On the plus side, in contrast to the reader of Lachman's "Politics and the Occult," Leslie James did generally pronounce names and terms correctly and consistently. It's a shame that this reading spoiled such a fine text.

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Wow

mind expanding and mind blowing. Really deep and philosophical. A good deal of it went over my head and will require further study. Definitely want to get a hard copy of this to be able to devote more attention to it and reread at least once in the future. Narrator wasn’t the best but didn’t ruin it either.

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Excellent Overview

I've been studying most of the people mentioned in this book and if provideds an excellent overview of them all and this mostly forgotten line of thinking. These intellectuals deserve more attention and should be emphasized above the materialists thinkers that the educational system currently promotes.

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amazing journey through history. buckle up!

I needed to take a break a few times because it is so packed. I especially like chapter 4 and 5 discussing liminality,.

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one long sentence.

loved the information, really struggled with the narrator. The book felt like one long sentence. It would be much more enjoyable if the narrator paused and took a breath between sentences.

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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!

7 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

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  • C. Leader
  • 01-18-22

Terrible reader

A fascinating book on imagination but so let down by the awful way it is performed. Why was this thought to be Ok. Please do a new version with a reader who reads with sense and understanding - not in a continuous drone. So disappointing.

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  • Kevin T-M
  • 06-28-21

Hard to get past the narration

Love Gary Lachman's work. such a shame that the narration has meant me returning the book!

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  • lance baker
  • 05-10-22

Gary's work is always great.

The only issue with this book was the narration. it was like it was sped up and any pauses taken out.