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COOL Archives: Ken Wilber


Posted on Wednesday, August 30 @ 05:28:52 UTC by shamansun

Ken Wilber (January 31st 1949)  is considered one of the greatest american philosophers and innovators of the modern age. He is famous for his Integral Theory of Consciousness, a "theory of everything", sweeping up the way we see (or did not see) our existence and taking it to the next level.

Wilber has attempted to utilize the insights from many aspects of our culture, much like COOL, to create some kind of coherent map, and note some of the underlying universal themes that extend beyond the boundaries of any one school of thought. His theory grasps everything, from psychology, to mysticism, to science. Reading his works can be very awe-inspiring, enlightening, and certainly helpful in understanding human development and potential.

On Wilber's current agenda is the steady construction of Integral Institute, a place to learn, act and discuss in a more integral way. Ken has written several books (The Spectrum of Consciousness, No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth,  The Simple Feeling of Being: Embracing Your True Nature, Integral Psychology: Consciousness, Spirit, Psychology, Therapy), essays and has been heavily involved with many of the world's great spiritual teachers, leading scientists and even (in recent news) an upcoming film based on his book, "Grace and Grit" (his transformative spiritual journey with his late wife, Treya).


Quotations:

"The development of consciousness spans an entire spectrum from prepersonal to personal to transpersonal, subconscious to self-concious to superconscious, id to ego to Spirit." (Pg 1, Integral Psychology)

"Although No Boundary is the second book I wrote, almost thirty years ago, it is still one of the most popular of my books. I believe the reason is simple: No Boundary was one of the first books to present a "full-spectrum" view of human potentials, potentials that reach from matter to body to mind to soul to spirit, and in so doing, it integrated the very best of psychology with the best of spirituality. In drawing on the finest of both Eastern and Western approaches to human growth and development, it charted a complete spectrum of consciousness that moved from subconscious to self-consciousness to superconscious, from pre-personal to personal to transpersonal, from instinct to ego to God. And it offered an entire smorgasbord of actual practices and exercises that showed the reader how to reach each of these higher states of consciousness. The completeness of this approach made it rather unique, and I believe that is why readers have continued to respond enthusiastically." (vii, Preface to No Boundary)

"Are the mystics and sages insane? Because they all tell variations on the same story, don't they? The story of awakening one morning and discovering you are one with the All, in a timeless and eternal and infinite fashion.

Yes, maybe they are crazy, these divine fools. Maybe they are mumbling idiots in the face of the Abyss. Maybe they need a nice, understanding therapist. Yes, I'm sure that would help.

But then, I wonder. Maybe the evolutionary sequence really is from matter to body to mind to soul to spirit, each transcending and including, each with a greater depth and greater consciousness and wider embrace. And in the highest reaches of evolution, maybe, just maybe, an individual's consciousness does indeed touch infinity--a total embrace of the entire Kosmos--a Kosmic consciousness that is Spirit awakened to its own true nature." (A Brief History of Everything)


"In Spirit I am not a whole/part, but the infinite in which all whole/parts arise, remain a bit, and pass. And thus, by developing from nature to mind to Spirit, I can embrace the entire Kosmos in a free and complete fashion, for I-I am that Kosmos for all eternity; which is to say: right now, when seen in the eye of Spirit, for which both mind and nature are simply integral chapters in my own continuing story.

United in Spirit without erasing differences - there is the One-in the-Many as my truest Self (the ultimate I or Buddha), and as the highest Truth (the ultimate It or Dharma), and as the all-encompassing Community of all sentient beings (the ultimate We or Sangha).

Further, according to the Idealists (and nondual sages everywhere), the extraordinary and altogether paradoxical secret is that the Final Release is always already accomplished. The "last step" is to step off the cycle of time altogether and find the Timeless there from the start, ever-present from the very beginning and at every point along the way. The great far-off spectacular climax . . . is right now. "The Good" says Hegel, "the absolutely Good, is eternally accomplishing itself in the world; and the result is that it need not wait upon us, but is already in full actuality accomplished." (CW 6: Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, 535-536)

Closure:

"As you look deeply into your own awareness, and relax the self-contraction, and dissolve into the empty ground of your own primordial experience, the simple feeling of being, right now, right here, is it not obvious all at once? Were you not present from the start? Did you not have a hand to play in all that was to follow? Did not the dream itself begin when you got bored with being God? Was it not fun to get lost in the productions of your own wondrous imagination, and pretend it all was other? Did you not write this book, and countless others like it, to simply remind you who you are?" (The Simple Feeling of Being)


Associated Topics

GodGreat SagesPeaceReligionSpirituality


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