ken wilber, theology

Ken Wilber’s Theory of Everything

Ah. Can you tell me what one can do if one was an integral thinker from infancy, had no illusions about one’s spiritual status and thought things were a lot simpler than they are made?

(Which is why my only spiritual discipline is to wear a cap with CAP on it meaning Congregation of All People).

I have had two stages of Ken Wilber.

The first was when I saw that Psychosynthesis (the idea, not its more onerous expressions) was a vastly more useful way to get at things than either classic Freudian analysis or the emerging and seriously onerous mainstream psychiatry-psychology that has reinforced both chemical dependence and the constrictions of analytical label-diagnosis — call it the restless leg syndrome syndrome.

Ken’s early work on the spectrum of consciousness was seminal and helped to flesh out an already developed integral consciousness. I claim this status on the basis of what I know of myself and specific universalizing experiences which were decisive for me and which trumped most of what I was taught, particularly at Union Seminary in NYC.

The early and middle Wilbur material also helped me in my analysis of Jonestown and I quoted it in Jesus and Jim Jones.

Essentially it is obvious that everything is a spectrum and that this makes dualistic thinking specious to say the least. I think I also refer to Wilber in my Beyond Creed — From Religion to Spirituality.

The only recent Wilber I have read is his Theory of Everything. I am going through it now. I do not read such books. I live with them for months and more. I suffer through them. I wrestle with them. It could be Nietzsche. Or the Bard. Or Robert Pirsig. Or Kate Millet. Or Bob Dylan. It is a small shelf. I value indexes.


Theory of Everything frustrates me. I am colorblind to some extent and color-based coding leaves me a mite cold. I am also a Reinhold Niebuhr survivor. By this I mean more than that I long ago said sayonara to neo-orthodox stasis. At the same time I consciously rebelled aganst (I shall not say glib or facile) labelling, if it has the feel of something that might turn into a know-it-all’s litmus test for a neo-neo-orthodoxy.

I am not being very clear.

In essence, I am wondering is there is not a simpler way to say what Wilber is saying and then to ask a question or two about it.

We live in a world where dualistic (binary) thinking is pervasive and we are a spectrum ranging from the infantile to the sublime,

Fulfillment or wholeness lies in recognizing the spectrum and honing one’s power to freely accept and navigate its bands.

It also lies in actively transcending constricting dualisms all up and down the spectrum.

I am not going to try to say I could say this better. I can’t.

Now my few questions:

Doesn’t the creation of the Wilber hierarchy end up skewing in the direction of a certain form of transpersonal consciousness that is itself culture-based and in-groupish?

Might Wilber end up creating an elite people like me cannot (will not) enter because it has unconsciously created a dualism of its own, along with a language to tar and feather (aka characterize, categorize) those who have not passed whatever entry requirements exist?


One thought on “Ken Wilber’s Theory of Everything

  1. Pingback: Remembering James H. Robinson and Others | Stephen C. Rose

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