July 20, 2006

Wilber did not really understand either of these great sages.

07.12.2006 permalink Second Part of my Essay - the Wilber critique The second part of my essay is up on Frank Visser's Integral World. The first part is just a general intro, the second part is a four-fold critique of Wilber, critiquing KW's holistic physicalism, support for abusive gurus (and faiulure to understand integral spirituality), his perspective limited to the rational mental only, and his and his organisation's cultic tendencies.
In this I differ from a large number of zaadzters, since in the most popular teachers page one finds Ken Wilber on an equal footing with Buddha and Jesus in the largest font (while Ken's friend Andrew Cohen, who is critiqued in the “abusive gurus” section of my essay, figures in smaller but still bold font ) Why do i take such a harsh stance on such a well-respected figure? Or at least, well-respected in the new consciousness/consciousness research / New Age paradigm; Wilber gets little shrift in either true academia or in true esotericism.
Well, I should explain here that previously, even though I had strongly criticised Wilber's theories on my website, I still thought of him as a decent although completely unenlightened guy. This is because I always try to see the best in everyone. Often I am not dissapointed. Sometimes I am. In Wilber's case I was. Following his authoritarian pronouncements and his unprovoked attack (in his first “Earpy” blog post) on Frank Visser, I could and can no longer view him in the positive light that i did.
This is why I now interpret him as a cultic figure very much in keeping with other cultic gurus, although to Ken's credit he does not yet seem to have behaved in an abusive manner towards his devotees; just the opposite, to those who praise him and follow him uncritically he apparently is a very warm and friendly person (I have never met him btw, i'm just going by what I have read and by what even critics say).
The third and final part of my essay (appearing soon) will present an Aurobindonian alternative, which includes the transformation of the body and divinisation of matter itself. (a lot of parallels with Teilhard de Chardin here, and interestingly with elements of Christianity in general). To me this is by far the most interesting and important. And still on this subject, one of the really good things that Wilber did do (and I will give him credit where credit is due!) is tell his readers about Sri Aurobindo, and thus introduce many people who would never otherwise have heard of him to this great sage. Ditto for Wilber's recommentadation of Plotinus, one of the great mystical philosophers of the Classical World. Unfortunately, as others as well as myself have shown (see my essay for some refs), Wilber did not really understand either of these great sages.
Ideally I would like to see the mainstream Integral Movement move beyond Wilberism to embrace genuine spiritually insightful integral teachers and teachings with the same enthusiasm that is currently applied to Wilber's teachers. As well as Sri Aurobindo and the Mother as the true founders of the Integral Movement (e.g. Integral Yoga and the Integral transformation), one might also mention Rudolf Steiner, Teilhard de Chardin, William Irwin Thompson, Michael Murphy, David Spangler, and many others. Tagged with: teachers, Ken Wilber, Andrew Cohen, Teilhard de Chardin, Sri Aurobindo, Plotinus, Frank Visser, essay, Earpy, critique, abusive gurus, cultic, integral movement, integral yoga Access: Public Type: Blog Add Comment posted by M. Alan

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