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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.
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