Ken Wilber, fully Kenneth Earl Wilber II

Ken
Wilber, fully Kenneth Earl Wilber II
1949

American Transpersonal Theorist, Author on Mysticism, Philosophy, Ecology, Stages of Faith, Centrism and Developmental Psychology

Author Quotes

There are four major stages of spiritual unfolding: belief, faith, direct experience, and permanent adaptation: you can believe in Spirit, you can have faith in Spirit, you can directly experience Spirit, you can become Spirit… Meditation is not primarily uncovering the repressed unconscious, but allowing the emergence of higher domains--which usually leaves the lower, repressed domains still lower, and still repressed… Well, the point, of course, is to take up integral practice as the only sound and balanced way to proceed…If you are interested in genuine transformative spirituality, find an authentic spiritual teacher and begin practice. Without practice, you will never move beyond the phases of belief, faith, and random peak experiences. You will never evolve into plateau experiences, nor from there into permanent adaptation. You will remain, at best, a brief visitor in the territory of your own higher estate, a tourist of you own true Self.

Putting there three dimensions (I, we, and it; or art, morals, and science; or Beauty, Goodness, and Truth) together with the major levels of existence (matter, body, mind, soul, and spirit) would give us a much more genuinely integral or holistic approach to reality.

The most striking feature of the perennial philosophy/psychology is that it presents being and consciousness as a hierarchy of dimensional levels, moving from the lowest, densest, and most fragmentary realms to the highest, subtlest, and most unitary ones.

A language possesses utility only insofar as it can construct conventional boundaries. A language of no boundaries is no language at all, and thus the mystic who tries to speak logically and formally of unity consciousness is doomed to sound very paradoxical or contradictory. The problem is that the structure of any language cannot grasp the nature of unity consciousness, any more than a fork could grasp the ocean.

Meditation, then, is not so much a part of this or that particular religion, but rather part of the universal spiritual culture of all humankind--an effort to bring awareness to bear on all aspects of life. It is, in other words, part of what has been called the perennial philosophy.

The mystics ask you to take nothing on mere belief. Rather, they give you a set of experiments to test in your own awareness and experience. The laboratory is your own mind, the experiment is meditation.

We move from part to whole and back again, and in that dance of comprehension, in that amazing circle of understanding, we come alive to meaning, to value, and to vision: the very circle of understanding guides our way, weaving together the pieces, healing the fractures, mending the torn and tortured fragments, lighting the way ahead - this extraordinary movement from part to whole and back again, with healing the hallmark of each and every step, and grace the tender reward.

The real problem is not exterior. The real problem is interior. The real problem is how to get people to internally transform, from egocentric to sociocentric to worldcentric consciousness, which is the only stance that can grasp the global dimensions of the problem in the first place, and thus the only stance that can freely, even eagerly, embrace global solutions

The single greatest world transformation would simply be the embrace of global reasonableness and pluralistic tolerance - the global embrace of egoic-rationality (on the way to centauric vision-logic).

Prana is implicate to matter but explicate to mind; mind is implicate to prana but explicate to soul; soul is implicate to mind but explicate to spirit; and the spirit is the source and suchness of the entire sequence.

Evolution goes beyond what went before, but because it must embrace what went before, then its very nature is to transcend and include and thus it has an inherent directionality, a secret impulse, toward increasing depth, increasing intrinsic value, increasing consciousness. In order for evolution to move at all, it must move in those directions—there’s no place else for it to go!

The truth will not necessarily set you free, but truthfulness will.

All of those for whom authentic transformation has deeply unseated their souls must, I believe, wrestle with the profound moral obligation to shout form the heart—perhaps quietly and gently, with tears of reluctance; perhaps with fierce fire and angry wisdom; perhaps with slow and careful analysis; perhaps by unshakable public example—but authentically always and absolutely carries a a demand and duty: you must speak out, to the best of your ability, and shake the spiritual tree, and shine your headlights into the eyes of the complacent. You must let that radical realization rumble through your veins and rattle those around you. Alas, if you fail to do so, you are betraying your own authenticity. You are hiding your true estate. You don’t want to upset others because you don’t want to upset your self. You are acting in bad faith, the taste of a bad infinity.

Likewise, looking deep within the mind, in the very most interior part of the self, when the mind becomes very, very quite, and one listens very carefully, in that infinite silence, the soul begins to whisper, and its feather-soft voice takes one far beyond what the mind could ever imagine, beyond anything rationality could possibly tolerate, beyond anything logic can endure. In its gentle whisperings, there are the faintest hints of infinite love, glimmers of a life that time forgot, flashes of a bliss that must not be mentioned, an infinite intersection where the mysteries of eternity breathe life into mortal time, where suffering and pain have forgotten how to pronounce their own names, this secret quiet intersection of time and the very timeless, an intersection called the soul.

The Good, the True, and the Beautiful, then, are simply the faces of Spirit as it shines in this world. Spirit seen subjectively is Beauty, and I of Spirit. Spirit seen intersubjectively is the Good, the We of Spirit. And Spirit seen objectively is the True, the It of Spirit... And whenever we pause, and enter the quiet, and rest in the utter stillness, we can hear that whispering voice calling to us still: never forgot the Good, and never forgot the True, and never forget the Beautiful, for these are the faces of your own deepest Self, freely shown to you.

For authentic transformation is not a matter of belief but of the death of the believer; not a matter of translating the world but of transforming the world; not a matter of finding solace but of finding infinity on the other side of death. The self is not made content; the self is made toast.

Maybe the evolutionary sequence really is from matter to body to mind to soul to spirit, each transcending and including, each with a greater depth and greater consciousness and wider embrace. And in the highest reaches of evolution, maybe, just maybe, an individual's consciousness does indeed touch infinity - a total embrace of the entire Kosmos - a Kosmic consciousness that is Spirit awakened to its own true nature. It is at least plausible. And tell me: is that story, sung by mystics and sages the world over, any crazier than the scientific materialism story, which is that the entire sequence is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing? Listen very carefully: just which of those two stories actually sounds totally insane?

There is more spirituality in reason's denial of God than there is in myth's affirmation of God, precisely because there is more depth... even an "atheist" acting from rational-universal compassion is more spiritual than a fundamentalist acting to convert the universe in the name of a mythic-membership god.

That all-pervading Beauty is not an exercise in creative imagination. It is the actual structure of the universe. That all-pervading Beauty is in truth the very nature of the Kosmos right now. It is not something you have to imagine, because it is the actual structure of perception in all domains. If you remain in the eye of Spirit, every object is an object of radiant Beauty. If the doors of perception are cleansed, the entire Kosmos is your lost and found Beloved, the Original Face of primordial Beauty, forever,and forever, and endlessly forever.

Great art suspends the reverted eye, the lamented past, the anticipated future; we enter it with the timeless present; we are with God today, perfect in our manner and mode, open to the riches and the glories of a realm that time forgot, but that great art reminds us of: not by it's content, but by what it does in us: suspends the desire to be elsewhere.

Transcendence restores humor. Spirit restores humor. Suddenly, smiling returns. Too many representatives of too many movements - even many very good movements, such as feminism, environmentalism, meditation, spiritual studies - seem to lack humor altogether. In other words, they lack lightness, they lack a distance from themselves, a distance from the ego and its grim game of forcing others to conform to its contours.

The great and secret message of the experiential mystics the world over is that, with the eye of contemplation, Spirit can be seen. With the eye of contemplation, the great Within radiantly unfolds. And in all cases, the eye with which you see God is the same eye with which God sees you: the eye of contemplation.

The aim of a complete course of development is to divest the basic structures of any sense of exclusive self, and thus free the basic needs from their contamination by the needs of the separate self sense. When the basic structures are freed from the immortality projects of the separate self, they are free to return to their natural functional relationships... hungry, we eat; when tired, we sleep. The self has been returned to the Self, all self-needs have been met and discarded; and the basic needs alone remain.

Ecological wisdom does not consist in understanding how to live in accord with nature; it consists in understanding how to get humans to agree on how to live in accord with nature.

Whenever we moderns pause for a moment, and enter the silence, and listen very carefully, the glimmer of our deepest nature begins to shine forth, and we are introduced to the mysteries of the deep, the call of the within, the infinite radiance of a splendor that time and space forgot - we are introduced to the all-pervading Spiritual domain that the growing tip of our honored ancestors were the first to discover. And they were good enough to leave us a general map to that infinite domain, a map called the Great Nest of Being, a map of our own interiors, an archeology of our own Spirit.

Author Picture
First Name
Ken
Last Name
Wilber, fully Kenneth Earl Wilber II
Birth Date
1949
Bio

American Transpersonal Theorist, Author on Mysticism, Philosophy, Ecology, Stages of Faith, Centrism and Developmental Psychology