I was reading some new Wilber and Wilber critiques and his responses online yesterday, and was saddened to come upon this link from 2002 http://www.integralworld.net/index.html?redd.html and this one from Dec 2006 http://www.kenwilber.com/blog/post/214?page=29 . Ken is seriously ill, and very nearly died last December. I don’t usually get sad about anyone’s predicament but my own, but this news does break my heart. I never met the guy in person nor corresponded with him, but through his books he has been a friend and companion, and this saddens me.
He has some newish stuff online about integral politics, which seems insightful http://www.kenwilber.com/blog/post/271?page=4 . Some of his associates are working with some of these ideas in business and politics. That should be interesting to watch.
A recent spat between Wilber and a few critics was a fun read. http://www.kenwilber.com/blog/show/48with more links at the bottom of that page. Wilber consulted 200 colleages about his strongly worded response, for two drafts, before sending it – in his response he told some of his critics to suck his cock. On his blog is listed some of his reasons and some of his colleages responses to his decision to say that.
An excerpt from one post responding to criticism: “For example, if a blue vMEME says to an orange vMEME, “Excuse me, but I can prove that your entire notion of evolution is wrong, because it is not in the Bible,” then that statement, qua criticism, is not so much false as nonsensical: it is not even in touch with that which it is criticizing, and thus this “cross-level” problem is a paradigm clash, and it cannot be decided with any amount of facts that blue will accept.”
He then goes on to point out that multiculturalists also can not comprehend an integral viewpoint – they are incapable of cognizing it. Developmental psychology can be a real right bitch that way – not egalitarian at all. That is Ken’s “theory of everything” – that various facts and interpretations have implications, and that we can hold many of the implications in mind at once – integrate many viewpoints, and see the developmental patterns, as well as other patterns – see the picture that the connections between various facts and viewpoints paint. Each viewpoint is not a bubble, a subjective bubble, alongside other different but equal bubbles.
The multiculturalist insight of not priveledging one perspective as Truth falls short. Clitorectamy is valuable within one culture, another says it is wrong. And then, the truth? The arbiter? How about simply the view that holds and includes the most sense data and intersubjective interpretations without internal contradiction – whatever that fluid view may be. Understanding can hold many views at once, and still rank and choose.
Academia won’t likely be very open to a map of knowledge that allows for hierarchies of development. Harvard recently kicked out a prof, or was it the dean, for merely mentioning that men and women have biological differences. Academia is very anti-hierarchy and pro-equality, I’ve been told. Still and all, his ideas are worth taking or leaving, on their own, regardless of who has accredited them. The ideas stand or fall on their own.