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A Theory Of Everything: An Integral Vision For Business, Politics, Science And Spirituality

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2004

    A Case of Boomeritis

    The one thing Wilber is a master of is: presenting others' thoughts to his readers, and then cutting a pasting them onto his superficial and glib schema. There's no end to the confusions engendered by his fast-and-easy constructions, but in this particular book he demonstrate more concretely where things go wrong with 'all-level, all quadrant, all lines, etc, etc.' One confusion consists in his equating 'levels of representation or interpretation' with 'levels of reality': he is here altogether too Platonic and fails to appreciate the reach of negative, discriminatory consciousness (in the sense of the discriminative structure of A/not-A, subject/object in the construction of 'the world'). He therefore involves himself in amazing contortions and self-qualifications in oreder to 'explain' how rational thought gets involved in his differing levels of reality - e.g., 'cross-level analysis' and so forth. And, how is it that the green meme folk are so immature, adolescent, and narcissistic in appearance? Wilber has to invent Boomeritis, a grand 'cross-level' slight of hand to save the 'greens' from being reduced to a simple regressive anti-hierachical ontological construction: he rather, though, believe that the green meme represents millions on the brink of worldwide mysticism. It is for the same reason that he treats nearly anyone whose name is mentionable in philosophical, aesthetic, or political literature as a mystic, including even Herr Hitler. Wilber altogther fails to understand the basis and extent of negational consciousness - and this distorts his otherwise good account of levels of awareness. He does not seem to know where representational thinking begins and where it ends; so we find the marks of objectivistic rational thinking or symbolic thinking strewn all over the place - e.g., chakra 1 as materialistic, or the objectivistic thinking of the blue meme as mythic, or the mythic as chakra 6 (diety mysticism, in his words). By making self-realization overly natural and even inevitable across time (barring self-destruction, blah, blah, blah), he wholly simplifies what it takes to achieve it and therefore thinks he sees evidence of it all around him ... especially in the mirror, I guess. But someone once said, 'Yes, dogs have Buddha nature, but not you ...' And lastly, would Shambhala please stop placing on Wilber's cover jackets silly quotes from Wilber's coterie of self-appointed twentieth century geniuses, stating that Wilber is right up there with Whitehead, Jung, Heidegger, Aurobindo, et al. I don't know how Wilber takes it, but I find it embarrassing even to read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2004

    Excellent book!

    Ken Wilber, the master of integration, is full of very interesting ideas and insights. Even if you do not agree with some of his ideas, it is very interesting and worth contemplating. In this book, Wilber convincingly writes that the four quadrants are highly related to each other, and that they need to be integrated in order to advance our understanding of things. However, he really does not go into much detail about how we can go about doing this. I found that the book called the 'The Ever-Transcending Spirit' by Toru Sato goes one step further and actually attempts an integration of these four quadrants. This fantastic book by Sato is a little more readable and takes this idea to an even more advanced level. Both books should be on your must read list if you are interested in the intersection between psychology, philosophy, and spirituality.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2003

    Well worth a read

    Although the essence of Wilber's theory is most comprehensively explained in 'Sex, Ecology, and Spirituality', this book contains many of his newer theoretical developments as well as more practical applications using his theory. It is very interesting that he relates some of our current social/political/environmental problems to the recent culture of baby boomers. Regardless with whether you agree with it or not it, this book is very thought provoking and well worth a read. If you like books that try to explain everything using one theory, I also recommend 'The Ever-Transcending Spirit' by Toru Sato. It is amazingly written so that it is full of wisdom, intellectually stimulating and easy to understand!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2001

    A unique and healing book

    This book is utterly astonishing and quite unique. The author integrates, within a deeply-rooted Christian perspective, a vast range of intellectual and spiritual streams. I am nearing the end of my second reading of the book, and find it never ceases to challenge, to inspire, to enlighten, even to heal. My copy has a picture of the Hermit on the front cover, and studying it can quite appropriately be a very solitary pursuit. However, my own appreciation of the work has been deepened by contact with members of the scattered but growing community of readers on the internet. I would be delighted to hear from any other students of the book and to let you know what resources are available.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2001

    Another great work by Wilber

    There are some people that suggest that Wilber has been too repetitive in his last few books. That he's simply been repeating the same basic refrain over and over again. I can understand that criticism, but I disagree with it. A Theory of Everything does repeat his basic integral theory which he has explained in other books, but it is a complex theory, and I find it incredibly useful to have new books in which he expands the examples of his theory. My own feeling is that the integral theory is a very important theory to understand, so the more in depth Wilber goes, the happier I am, as I feel like I have a greater grasp of what he's speaking about. As an aside, there is a wondeful novel called We All Fall Down by Brian Caldwell which seems to take quite a bit of Wilber's theory, and even mentions him several times in the book. The novel is a great example of a man caught trying to transform his life into something better, but who is able only to translate. It's about the frustration and difficulties in trying to move up to the next level of consciousness. Techinically, it's set in a Christian framework, but it elevates past that small structure and uses it to really bring home quite a few of Wilber's theories. It's a wonderful novel and I'd highly recomend it to any fan of Wilber.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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