yomamma said...One of Wilber's books that I did read was Grace and Grit. I was immediately struck by Wilber's arrogance (as a small example, quoting a man on page 150 who refers to Wilber as "the potentially greatest philosopher of consciousness since Freud.") Wilber's work is filled with categories of development with different "altitudes," such that one's spiritual state can be judged higher or lower. This of course allows Wilber to place himself on one of the higher rungs. When Wilber attaches himself to authoritarian gurus (Adi Da and Andrew Cohen), it allows him to bask in their reflected glory, bolstering Wilber's own claims of superior altitude.
I read an article that Ken Wilber wrote later, that said he feels, Da missed the boat at some point, not that I want to defend Ken Wilber, he seems to now have transfered his need for guru affiliation and creation to Andrew Cohen.
My opinion is that people are desperate for meaning and mystery, which is great, but they don't want to practice any number of great traditions that are available without some kind of glamour/power factor involved. it's creepy.Not just creepy, but ironic. If someone wants mystery, all they need to do is pay a little attention. The world around us is nothing but mystery, starting with the great question of What am I? Grasping at dogmas and ideas is an attempt to understand the unknowable, which obscures a clear appreciation of the mystery.
I read his last book and found it leaving me full of questions, like who decides the validity of this stuff? Is it practiced anywhere? Is it really helpful in any objective way? Is he just blinding me with pseudo science and big words?Yeah, blinding you with pseudo-science and big words, that's what I'd say.
Anonymous said...This hits the heart of the matter. If you want something, you have a problem. Dae Soen Sa Nim used to say that enlightenment is easy to get, difficult to keep. That is, anyone can put time and effort into a meditation practice and get an experience of clear, before-thinking mind. But in the next moment, we may try to capture the experience with concepts, as a way of getting or holding something for ourselves. Clarity isn't a thing that we can get; it's the direction of putting down our ideas over and over, and returning to questioning, to before-thinking.
Dogen Zenji, founder of the Soto Zen sect, warned of the hazard of 'gaining mind' and that properly practiced, zazen was never done to attain any sort of result. The problem with the Wilberian approach is to take beautiful truthful elements piece meal from spiritual practices meant to emancipate us from gaining mind, and turns all these elements into a crusade fuelled by gaining mind--to turn oneself into a highly evolved person--according to KW's current specifications.
The medicine to cure a gaining mind is to attend 100% to this moment, trying to act with clarity and compassion in the situation right in front of us. The desire to turn oneself into a highly-evolved person is just more I/my/me thinking. If Wilber is inspiring people to adopt this gaining mind, that's a big big mistake.