Ken Wilber's Integral Philosophy

SnakA Pearl of Wisdom and Enlightenment

Bliv bruger af LibraryThing, hvis du vil skrive et indlæg

Ken Wilber's Integral Philosophy

Dette emne er markeret som "i hvile"—det seneste indlæg er mere end 90 dage gammel. Du kan vække emnet til live ved at poste et indlæg.

sep 1, 2007, 12:28 am

Finally, Ken Wilber. Here we go.

Personally, I find him one of the most enticing philosophers in the current times.

How long have you been studying him for? Do you assist to any Ken Wilber meeting groups worldwide? What's your meme color? 8-)

What books have you found to be his best, either by him or about him?

I would like to recommend this one. It's a very good general overview of his Integral Philosophy.

Introducing Ken Wilber

sep 1, 2007, 12:22 pm

OK, I have a hard time even starting to talk about Ken Wilber. When I first found A Brief History of Everything, Ken Wilber I was totally captivated. I quickly read his memoir (can't remember the name of the book) of his wife's cancer (oh, it so much more than just that). I especially liked his integrating science and nonscience.

Now, however, I have a couple more of his books and I have not been able to sit down to read them. I have way too many "to be read".

I think when I was pre-retirement I read, in part, to escape work and responsibilities. Now I don't really need to escape what goes on every day and so I am finding I spend less time reading. Very frustrating to have so much I want to do and only 24 hours each day!

I have to go drive my grandson somewhere....something I want to do because I like getting the time with him in the car, captive audience, don't you know.

I'll be back

3Citrus.paradisi Første besked:
sep 9, 2007, 4:12 pm

I had been reading psychology and spirituality (particularly Buddhism) for about five years before picking up one of Ken's books. I'd come across his name here and there, and was finally moved to read Grace and Grit after yet one more intriguing reference in a book on the subject of dying.

After Grace and Grit, I moved on to the Journals, if memory serves. I was nearly put off by what I perceived as his arrogance, but his ideas were so fascinating that I put that aside and kept going. In fact, over a period of about eighteen months, I read every one of his books. It was enormously mind- and soul-expanding. I'd been wrestling with various issues related to psychology and spirituality for years (eg what is "ego-death?" Why does the East want to kill the ego and the West to develop it?), but I was astounded by how Ken was tying all the threads together.

Is he on to something? Time will tell, perhaps, but what a thrilling ride! I have rarely been so absorbed and delighted by an author's ideas before or since.

Favourite Ken book: hard to say, but I'll choose No Boundary.

What's my "meme colour?" I'm not sure I'm objective enough to know. As an ex-fundamentalist, I am fairly certain I've lived amber to the fullest.

sep 9, 2007, 9:39 pm

I haven't read any of his books......yet. Went through the titles on various swap sites and settled on The Marriage of Sense and Soul from the titles available.

LT certainly makes my TBR pile grow!

sep 11, 2007, 1:31 am

Ken Wilber is one interesting character.

I first read The Atman Project in 1995, and have since read 11 of his books, 3 of his audio disk sets, and 1 book about his work Frank Visser's Ken Wilber: Thought as Passion. And I've followed Integral Naked and the Integral Spiritual Center since they went public.

I've (tried) to follow closely as he has gone through his own develpmental phases (Wilber 1 to Wilber 5 (or 6?)) over the years. My own development has been greatly influenced by his writings.

I've read:

Atman Project
No Boundary
A Brief History of Everything
Marriage of Sense and Soul
Integral Psychology
A Theory of Everything
Grace and Grit
One Taste
Sex, Ecology, Spirituality
Eye of Spirit

I've started, but never finsihed:

Spectrum of Consciousness
Quantum Questions
Transformations of Consciousness

I started to list just the most meaningful to me, but realized that they are all meaningful. Each has contributed to my understandingof the world as we know it.

That said, I am deeply concerned about "where Wilber is at" these days. He seems to be increasingly isolated and mistrustful of the world. Some of his outbursts have even seemed a bit paranoid.

What is happening to Ken?

Anyone out there have any insight?

And thanks for starting this thread.

{I've tried to 'bracket" all works mentioned, but some really strange titles came up as Touchstones. Anyone know how to fix this?}

sep 11, 2007, 9:38 am

I am concerned with your concern. How have you been made aware of "outbursts"? Do you live near where Ken is living?

Redigeret: sep 11, 2007, 10:50 pm

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

sep 11, 2007, 10:50 pm

Thanks for your input bodhisattva.

By those outburst I guess you are referring mainly to some specific posts in his blog, about the critics of his work.

Here's one of the most poignant and harsh ones:

What We Are, That We See. Part I: Response to Some Recent Criticism in a Wild West Fashion

Personally, I frame those outbursts within a passionate way of living his philosophy. He definitely doesn't play the nice-guru-guy type. Probably because he realizes that, as Terence put it, "I am human, nothing that is human is alien to me".

I would also recommend to read his "The Shadow Series" posts on his blog, listed at the end of that post referenced above.

The Shadow Series. Part 1: How to Spot the Shadow.
The Shadow Series. Part 2: Integrating the Shadow.
The Shadow Series. Part 3: A Working Synthesis of Transactional Analysis and Gestalt Therapy.

sep 11, 2007, 11:26 pm

so I read What We Are, That We See, Part I and I don't see anything in there that would give me reason for concern. I think he continues to be one interesting creature, worthy of more investigation. May go pick up one of his books tonite...

Or read The Eyre Affair

or maybe just go to bed, to sleep.

sep 13, 2007, 7:17 pm

Yes, I am referring to the "Wyatt Earp" series on his blog:

See also the responses posted on Frank Visser's web site:

Visser's rise and fall within the integral world is an interesting one. He started out very much in the "inner circle" with the writing of Ken Wilber: Thought as Passion, but was later excommunicated when he became more critical. His web site changed from " to: . But Visser's loss of status within the Integral World seemed a bit too abrupt and complete. Visser's estrangement from KW is not unique, as other critics seemed to have suffered the same fate.

Again, KW shaped much of my thinking in this area, and dominated my reading for over a decade. I became concerned over the cult-like following he seems to have developed, with the cult-leader-like protection he now receives from his followers.

I know his physical health has been an issue for some time:
and this may account for some of the "protection" his inner circle provides for him. My concern is that his work really doesn't need this protection. It continues to stand out as an astounding opus in the world of spiritual writing.

sep 13, 2007, 9:17 pm

Cults are so disturbingly common these days. I am sorry to know KW has some health issues; I agree his work can easily stand alone.

I really don't have the brain power to be able to discuss it in this setting; I am mostly intuitively convinced he has a good grasp of how to see the world and life as whole. I really appreciate knowing a little about his thinking.

I am sorry the internecine wars have gone on in his community; but, it seems so common when one person gains a "guru" type status with followers. Knowing nothing, I can't really blame him.

sep 14, 2007, 4:03 pm

It's a pity that there are those internal tensions within the Integral community. I think that KW has a strong character and might be a bit overzealous about preserving the core of his ideas.

bodhisattva, I see that you have been studying him for a long time now. I certainly cannot presume to even begin to really understand all of his enormous body of work as a whole (so many parallel readings to digest first for every one of KW's paragraphs that refer to other authors! :)) though I could understand his frustration at some critics indulging in attacks to his philosophy without having taken the effort to read -and maybe more important, to "experience" it, as KW's scientific approach seems to be- all of his work.

Some Integral humour anyway... B-)

-If you try to find, designate, or describe Ken Wilber, then you've already missed the point, and you do not know the true Ken Wilber.
-Those who talk about Ken Wilber don't know, and those who know are actually emanations of Ken Wilber.
-Ken Wilber went so far up the Spiral Dynamics Spiral that he spun off of it entirely, and is trying to figure out how to get back DOWN to Third Tier, so he can relate to his friends more.
-Ken Wilber is finishing up an Integral re-working of the entire Oxford Dictionary, Encyclopedia Brittanica, Tripitaka, Wikipedia, and Bible. This took him 2 months, a little longer than he would have liked, but he thinks that it may be his best work yet.
-Ken Wilber can go from ego to nondual in 3.9 seconds.
-In an argument between Wittgenstein, Aurobindo, and Richard Dawkins, Ken Wilber would win.
-Ken Wilber has transcended transcendence.
-There is no Alpha and Omega, there is only Ken Wilber.
-By playing back any quote from Ken Wilber, assigning each letter a number, reversing the order, and translating to Hebrew can one find the Secret Name of God.
-Ken Wilber can divide by zero.
-God blasphemes by taking the name of Ken Wilber in vain.
-When Ken Wilber farts, it sounds like a Tuvan singing Kargryaa. Anyone within ten feet will have their bones shaken and their chakras aligned.
-There are some things that can't be included and transcended. For everything else, there's Ken Wilber.
Wilberease: the integral jargon/language gradually learned after reading just about every book written by Ken Wilber - Examples: transcend & include, “mean” memes, translation and transformation, 8 indigenous perspectives, Zones (1-4), Boomeritis, first and second tier, “Darth Vader move,” Flatland, Witness, “everybody is right,” phases of Wilber (1-5), Big Three, morphogenetic field, Wilber-Combs matrix, “body, mind and spirit in self, culture and nature,” “integrally informed”, holon, Kosmos, vision-logic, “center of gravity”, pre/trans fallacy, postmetaphysical, Twenty Tenets, centaur, “true but partial”

Wilberium: a naturally occurring phenomenon that affects people (usually males) after reading books by Integral philosopher Ken Wilber and causes them to want to dress, look and talk like said Ken Wilber. - Example: Your friend that just read One Taste and saw Ken’s latest video on IN who proceeded to shave his head bald, buy a Q-Link pendent, drink Red Bull, wear sleeveless tees and shop at Armani. Also likes to say “fuck” and “everybody is right” a lot. (Purple shades are optional hehe)
Yellowitis: Malaise afflicting certain individuals that can only see others not in the INcrowd as green and lower.

oooooohmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm =)

sep 15, 2007, 3:31 pm

Like all good humor, this hits its target well.

As I've been reading KW over the years, I note that Ken's recurring theme about his critics is that they pick fights with the wrong KW. He truly has grown and developed, or "transcended and included" at least 5 stages of KW thought. So attacks on a Wilber-4 statement have already been addressed in Wilber-5 writings.

But alas not all those who take Ken to task are guilty of this misdeed. There have been several good and valid points made through the years. Many are in time included within Wilber's next level, but some do earn the wrath of Wilber.

True, not many people on the planet could argue the subtleties of general relativity or quantum mechanics with Einstein (to whom KW has been famously compared), but several brave souls could. And several dared to point out true errors in Einstein's proposals.

There was never a "cult of Einstein" (as far as I know) within the physics community. There does seem to be developing an Integral Cult, which does disservice to the genius that is KW.

sep 15, 2007, 3:34 pm

I probably should do some homework, but I vaguely remember Enstein's work being quite controversial at the time. The perspective of time is a double edged sword: things calm down and things are forgotten.

Redigeret: sep 16, 2007, 6:43 pm

I tried reading Ken Wilbur but was quite put off by the lack of foot-notes and bibliography in any of his books.

sep 17, 2007, 11:51 pm


You want footnotes and bibliography?

Try Sex, Ecology, Spirituality.

236 pages of footnotes!

32 page bibliography!

And an outstanding book to boot.

Or perhaps Integral Psychology.

20 pages of comparative tables.

68 pages of footnotes.

KW has been accused of many sins. Lack of documentation is rarely one of them.

Both of these books are excellent representations of Ken's writing.

sep 20, 2007, 4:41 pm

Good scholarship would require foot-noting all of his "assertions"!

sep 24, 2007, 9:56 am

New book, published: August 2007

¿At last a concise and updated introduction from Ken Wilber himself?

The Integral Vision: A Very Short Introduction to the Revolutionary Integral Approach to Life, God, the Universe, and Everything

"Philosopher, psychologist and mystic Wilber (A Brief History of Everything) delivers on the subtitle's far-reaching promise. In a scant 200+ pages chock-full of handsome illustrations and spare, Zen-like diagrams and tables, he forges ahead on his established path, posing, What if we attempted to find the critically essential keys to human growth, based on the sum total of human knowledge now open to us? His answer is a kind of meta-structure of human experience and, more importantly, human potential. His Integral Map, or Integral Operating System (IOS), of quadrants, levels, lines, states, and types is drawn from developmental psychology, worldviews, multiple intelligences, gender studies, the nature of consciousness, etc. If this sounds heady and extremely ambitious, it is. Wilber asserts that the IOS approach to life permits all fields of endeavor at last to speak with one another in a common language. Clearly, however, spirituality dominates much of his thought. Not for the faint of brain, Wilber's work is still accessible and at times surprisingly practical. Some language spirals up majestically, recalling great Eastern texts. Reminiscent in spirit and watershed import of Ram Dass's Be Here Now, Wilber's work may well become a popular classic for explorers on the frontiers of humanity."

sep 25, 2007, 12:11 am

"Good scholarship would require foot-noting all of his "assertions"!"


These questions are discussed in detail on the Integral World website:

There are many essays posted in the "Reading Room" echoing your concerns.

Redigeret: okt 2, 2007, 7:43 pm

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

apr 5, 2010, 1:01 pm

Anyone know if he's there's another book in the works? I should probably reread Integral Spirituality and Psychology, I have a feeling I'm not going to really understand either without multiple readings, however KW is one of those thinkers I always look forward to getting a new work from.

apr 20, 2010, 12:43 pm

For some "insight" as to how prevalent self made gurus flourish in the New Age groupie (formerly just California cults) community, read "My Father's Guru" by Jeffrey Masson; Paul Brunton was also a plagiarist, just like KW.

Bliv medlem af gruppen, hvis du vil skrive et indlæg