INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber



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Martin Erdmann is a German writer, poet, retired lecturer of Heidelberg University. He completed studies of English, French, and of legal science, both at the University of Heidelberg. He wrote several books in German focusing on the illusion of the I or Ego. As a cofounder of the German Spiritual Emergence Network (S. E. N) he provided counseling to people undergoing spiritual crises. For several years now he has conducted seminars on Advaita-Vedanta. (email: martin@satsa.de Homepage: www.satsa.de)

Poor wilberites who are Never Allowed to Live
in the Here and Now

Martin Erdmann

http://new.livestream.com/integralcenter/events/2507065

Abstract:

In a two hour speech given on Friday November 1, 2013, in the Boulder-based Integral Living Room, Ken Wilber admonishes his integral audience: “As you get to green, all you are working on is how to get out of green. As soon as you get to teal all you talk about is how to get out of teal, and as soon as you get to turquoise, all you talk about is how you get out of turquoise. When are you going to live? Take a breath,” yells Ken Wilber in his talk.

In a more moderate tone he then declares: “I always include in my sections: Practice, practice, practice, make this real… Let's say right now turquoise is a good enough arrival for at least the next five years. So what are you going to do for five years, learn how to be turquoise, nobody else knows, and there are no books on it.”

To be turquoise, so Wilber, you have to relearn everything. Nothing can be done the old way. Then he gives a list of actions you have to learn over completely once you have arrived at turquoise, which is his integral stage of vision logic. Here are a few examples. To be turquoise, so Wilber, you have to relearn how to yell, how to say hi and hallo, how to go to the grocery store, how to cook, how to embrace each other, how to brush your teeth the turquoise way.

No, the Wilberites are not allowed to take a breath. They are not allowed to stay in the Here and Now, to start living for a while. They have to keep on practicing. In a process of “trial and error” they must seriously apply themselves to get all these things right. So for the next five years they must learn to brush their teeth the turquoise way. This is the only way to be turquoise. Only then can they move on to the next higher stage, which is indigo. This is no joke. Ken Wilber means this seriously so.

“Being at a higher level”, says Wilber, “does not mean everything is 100 % right. In many cases being at a higher level means you screw up worse, because you are smarter.” The article concludes: Unknowingly the smart Ken Wilber talks about himself. The Einstein of Consciousness screwed up worse. I am sorry.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Looking through integral conventions to see them disintegrate
  2. An integral turquoise greeting to be observed
  3. Shaking hands with a skeleton
  4. An enslavement as liberation disguised .
  5. Ken Wilber's Singular Smile – Is it Turquoise or Beyond?
  6. The Integral Turquoise Embrace
  7. Brushing your Teeth the Integral Turquoise Way
  8. A Turquoise Car-Driving on our Pubic Roads
  9. The Wilberite who Never Lives
  10. Another New Age Joke: A Ken Wilber who Screwed Up Worse

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^ Table of Contents

1. Looking through integral conventions to see them disintegrate

Wilber is aware of the fact that his followers, who always aspire to get to the next higher stage, do not really live.

There is a VIDEO of a two-hour talk given on Friday November 1, 2013, in the Boulder-based Integral Living Room, also reviewed by Frank Visser in Tadpoles in Trouble: Ken Wilber on Regeneration In his discourse Ken Wilber introduces a number of rules, which must be observed by people on the spiritual path. These rules, so Wilber, must be followed strictly with no exceptions allowed. He also has a clear-cut understanding of how these rules change, when people move upwards on the hierarchical chart depicted in this essay.

In his discourse Wilber is primarily concerned with the second tiers stage of turquoise. Once you arrive at turquoise, says Wilber, the rules of behavior, the acts to be observed, are in no way to be taken lightly.

01:38:55 All of those things are crucial, they are absolutely crucial, and if you think of the day, when the leading majority of the United States is at turquoise, what is the main action going to be, acting turquoise…enacting it, putting it into action, that is what you need to learn.

01:45:51 How do we care, how do we nurture, how do we criticize, how do we yell, this is all incredibly important.

“I am serious”, yells Ken Wilber now, once you get to turquoise.

01:42:20 You have to relearn everything from going to the grocery store, to brushing your teeth, to cooking, all of this is different, because you are at a higher level.

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You must not think someone in turquoise goes to the grocery store the same way someone in green does. This is not first tiers. This is second tiers now, with turquoise above teal on Wilber's ascending evolutionary scheme. We must always remind ourselves that each stage requires a specific way of acting.

01:45:50 How do we say hi, how do we say hallo, how do we say good-bye, this is all incredibly important.

This we must keep in mind, repeats Wilber to then give a longer list of subjects you have to relearn once you become established in turquoise. Let us stay with the greeting procedure for the moment, to then turn to other turquoise rules of action, which must be strictly observed.


Look at her. Is she going to the
grocery-store the turquoise way?

Not only within the integral community, also in our society at large, there are these social conventions to be followed. The way people greet each other is based on a social practice, on a norm the members of a social group have silently agreed upon. It is a custom tacitly accepted by the social parties. What is considered to be an adequate greeting in one society, may be looked upon as an improper conduct in another culture.

When meeting in a more informal way in the US we just bow to each other, making eye contact, looking into the other person's eyes for 4 – 5 seconds. In Germany it is 2 – 3 seconds rather when talking to someone you do not know well. Looking longer into somebody's eyes is considered to be aggressive, rude, a show of disrespect.

Looking a woman you meet for the first time longer into the eyes may be considered as improper, menacing, flirtatious depending on circumstances.

You are not supposed to stare at someone. To avoid a fixed gaze you can nod or shift your head from time to time, all the time blinking normally.

Blinking fast and frequently can be associated with feeling nervous or uncomfortable. Too frequently glancing away may be interpreted as weakness, as disinterest, or as being disrespectful.

An eye contact to be socially acceptable must not be too short and not too long. When properly made it shows attention, signalizes interest. It may also be interpreted as a sign of self-confidence.

Mirroring the facial expression of the person talking is generally interpreted as showing concern. It is a gesture, which supports eye contact in a respectable manner. A frozen stance and tense face seems more like staring than contact.

Depending upon the social setting the message you want to deliver may not be the one that is received. These are difficulties you encounter when moving to a culture which is different from your own. As long as you stay within your native environment these rules generally do not create a problem. We have to do with social norms we have been brought up with. We have taken in, incorporated these rules. Thus in most cases we display a conduct, which is found socially appropriate without noticing it. .

To-day these socially set up rules are not adhered to so strictly, so rigidly as in the past. Due to the internet, to widespread travelling all over the world people have become acquainted with the social rules of other countries, which are quite different from their own. Thus the relativity of these norms is becoming more and more transparent to people living in different countries of the world. .

There is also a developing rational structure to be found in the civilized countries of the world. This helps people to become consciously aware of the process of internalization they had been exposed to in their upbringing, in their later social life. So they begin to stand apart from these social norms, to soberly look at them, to reflect upon them.

This is something we do in our satsangs conducted here in Germany. We examine the social standards we were brought up with, deliberately reflect upon them. So the participants of our meetings may realize more and more clearly the artificiality of the social fabric. So they can eventually see the whole procedure as a kind of contact glue applied, for the members of society to stick together.

This is not a mere intellectual process. It is an inner seeing, which can be developed to be felt more and more deeply. So we do no longer feel obliged to abide by the artificial social agreements. We can rub off the sticking glue, shake off the social fabric to act more in concert with our own true nature. We can also decide to abide by the set up social standards, when this is to our own advantage, for example. From now on it is our own free choice to be made.

Greeting someone, keeping the proper eye-contact is seen as a mere ritual now accompanied by a smile on our lips, a glow in our faces maybe. We know that there is no must to pursue a particular social conduct. There is always a way to make a U-turn, to move into an opposite direction, which is more in keeping with our own liking. So we may act from within now in touch with our own nature. Liberation from these constricting rules leads to inner freedom.

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2. An integral turquoise greeting to be observed

Ken Wilber does not release his followers from their social conditioning. He does not do so, because he has himself not seen through his own inbred social structures. So he takes these artificial rules very seriously.

He does not merely abide by the social constructs set up in the society he lives in. Human life has been newly devised in line with his innovative integral path pursued by his followers. For this he engages in a singular approach, in which he replaces the existing social rules by his own green, teal, turquoise rules, by other governing colors located on his hierarchical scheme.

Wrapped up in his own mental abstractions he does not realize that he has merely replaced existing artificial rules by his own cooked up rules and standards. He then sticks to his dreamt up rules more rigidly than the normal citizen abides by the artificial standards of the society he lives in.

“How we greet each other, how we say hi, how we say hallo, this is all incredibly important” for Ken Wilber. Whether you shake hands or not, and how you shake hands, “all of those things are crucial”, for there is only one correct turquoise way of doing these things. So there is a specific handshake, which you must get right once you have arrived at turquoise.

Outside the integral community this is different. There we find a malleable human behavior expressing itself in a variety of handshakes to be made. Our social conduct depends on the circumstances, on the individual human beings we relate to. This makes the social encounter an interesting affair. A handshake means physical contact with another human being, which can tell you a lot about the person you get in touch with.

A floppy, flimsy handshake can indicate that the person you encounter is reserved, skeptical, mistrustful maybe. There is the energetic, the commanding, compelling personality, who shakes hands so vigorously that you think you hear the bones being crushed. There is the slimy, sweaty handshake which makes you want to take a hot shower to wash the sweaty slime out. Let us not forget the firm handshake showing a self-reliant person. This is someone you might like to stick around with, to engage in an authentic, in a heartfelt encounter maybe.

Wilber's cooked up turquoise rules do not leave any freedom of action. There is no leeway for the human being to express herself in her own body language, in her underlying personal inclinations. Wilber affirms .

01:24:56 Second tiers tends to definitely include all sentient beings.

So second tiers turquoise, together with a lower second tiers teal, embraces all human beings. There is no Chinese, Indian or German turquoise. There is only one turquoise, with rules of walking, of greeting each other, of shaking hands, which are the same for people all over the world.

In our regular society, outside the confining bounds of an integral turquoise community, each person has considerable free scope to express herself. With all the social standards to be observed a person is still recognized as an individual human being. So, within certain limits, each person is allowed his or her own body language.

This expresses itself in an individual handshake, modified according to time and circumstances. The way Peter Pim shakes hands with you to-day may not be the way he shakes hands with you to-morrow. After all Peter is a human being who breathes and lives. So his behavior, his bodily expressions are subject to change.

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3. Shaking hands with a skeleton

Let us assume that for your own security you wish to indulge in a handshake which never changes. You want a fixed, an unalterable handshake in order to have something you can firmly rely on in this shaky world. Now the actions of a person, no matter how deeply he has been socially conditioned, will always be somewhat unpredictable. This holds true for the mere fact that he is alive, human life being inherently an unstable, an uncertain affair. So for your dream to become true you will have to shake hands with someone who is no longer alive. So you will shake hands with a dead person now, more precisely with what is left over from him, which is his skeleton.

From now on you can trust that you will not be in for a surprise. There will always be the same old handshake to confide in. You can be assured that there will always be the same lifeless feeling going through your fingers, the palm of your hand and veins, no matter which skeleton you shake hands with.

There is only one occurrence, which is an exception to the rule. This will come to pass, when you fall in love with one of the skeletons you get in touch with. Then a power will arise, in which you stand transfigured while you become fused with your truelove. Symbiotically united with your beloved skeleton you have become released from the uncertainties of human life. You have yourself become a skeleton now smiling from no ear to no ear.

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What a loving handshake that is.

After the loving handshake you stand
transfigured smiling from no ear to no ear .

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4. An enslavement as liberation disguised

Wilber quite rigorously holds on to his newly discovered turquoise rules, which contradicts his own theory. The more you move up on the stages of the colorful scheme the more you become emancipated from these social rules, affirms Wilber in his Integral Psychology Once you arrive at turquoise you will act “in a living, conscious fashion, not based on external rules (blue) [amber] or group bonds (green)”, he asserts. “With only 1 percent of the population at second tiers [teal and turquoise] thinking (and only 0,1 percent at turquoise), second-tiers consciousness is relatively rare because it is now the 'leading edge' of collective human evolution”, professes Wilber.

“At the same time it might be noted that second-tier thinking has to emerge in the face of much resistance from first-tier thinking”, he continues. “And yet without second-tier thinking, as Graves, Beck, and Cowan point out, humanity is destined to remain victims of a global 'auto-immune disease'”, curtailed by an “amber myth, conventional, conformist” behavior, crippled by a “red magic, self-protective” thinking (2000 b: 52/53).

We see Wilber in his integral theory aspires to liberate men and women from the shackles of self-protective, conformist thought. In his practical instructions on the video, however, Wilber firmly holds on to his own rigidly constructed conformist rules. Instead of liberating his followers from repressing social conditioning he ties them up even more closely, now to his own constructed rules. For each consecutive stage there is a different binding rule to be followed. The social standards, which applied to the stages of first tiers, do not hold true any more for the stages of second tiers. So Wilber emphatically proclaims.

49:46 All of the areas of human activity, and I mean all of the areas have to be learnt over completely, because it is coming from an entirely different altitude, an entirely different awareness, an entirely different viewpoint and the things you are used to doing is green and orange or amber, they are not appropriate, don't work anymore, they are not broad enough anymore.

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5. Ken Wilber's Singular Smile – Is it Turquoise or Beyond?

So there is a fundamentally new way of greeting each other, of saying hi, of saying hallo, once we have arrived at turquoise. To take an example let us see how a highly evolved Ken Wilber greets the audience, which has assembled in the Boulder-based Integral Living Room to await the august speaker.

Ken Wilber who appears on stage is followed by host Terry Patten, co-author of Integral Life Practice There is no clear view of the audience, the feeling one gets is one of an informal crowd of dedicated integral students.

As Wilber appears on stage we see him receive a standing ovation, before he engages in his two hour speech. The accolade given by the audience indicates an open admiration for Wilber's past achievements as a renowned scholar, as an eminent spiritual teacher. Greeting his applauding, cheering audience we hear Ken Wilber exclaim:.

00:06 Huh, wow, what a crowd, wow, wow, bless you, what a wonderful, wonderful welcome you all, look, terrific, ugh, ha, ha, ha, how are you.

While the audience enthusiastically claps hands, Wilber engages in a moderate, measured clapping. For this, in a slow, synchronized motion, he claps with the flat right hand not against the left hand, but against the notebook, which he holds in his left hand. In his later speech he states.

01:40:4 Acting turquoise…enacting it, putting it into action…that is what you need to learn… that is extremely important, that is a major, major, major issue that we all need to confront and keep in mind and take very, very seriously. It does not do any good to get to turquoise and then act in completely fucked up ways.

A completely messed up way would be to get to turquoise and greet an audience in a teal way. To greet people in an orange way would be acting in a more deranged way even. When we get to turquoise, says Ken Wilber.

01:41:45 We have to really think now in turquoise…all of those things I said earlier, how do we meet each other, how do we greet each other…how do we say hi, how do we say hallo.

Now an integral Wilberite may ask himself: The way Wilber greets his audience, is this the turquoise way of greeting, or is this even higher up on the evolutionary scheme? In the integral community this is a legitimate question to be asked in the presence of a highly evolved Ken Wilber, deemed to reside in third tiers or beyond.

Now Wilber does not confine himself to his right hand clapping, to saying hugh, wow and hi. He engages in his own mannerism, expressing itself in his “hand gestures… his intonation…his smile, his pauses, his eloquence, his erudition, sniffing crookedly out of one nostril, wiping the corners of his mouth”, as portrayed by Philip Molina in Ken Wilber's Latest Address, May 2013. It is a familiar pose reappearing in his Boulder speech.

Now the integral believer may ask himself: Is his unique way of wiping the mouth violet, is his unexampled sniffing an example of ultraviolet maybe. And what about this uncommon smile? Wilber says .

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Ken Wilber's singular smile.

01:24:56 Second tiers tends to definitely include all sentient being, third tiers tends to move towards all holons and the entire manifest and unmanifest universe.

So the inquiring Wilberite may ask himself: This singular smile, does it not include all sentient beings? Then an idea hits him, coming not out of the blue, but out of the integral clear light. 'I can see it clearly now, this is the clear light smile, which embraces the entire universe', intuits the devoted integral student.

Let us now turn from Ken Wilber's mannerism and smile to the content of his speech. Wilber in his writing, so we heard, wishes his followers to act “in a living, conscious fashion, not based on external rules”, not curtailed by a “myth, conventional, conformist” behavior, not crippled by “self-protective” thinking. (2000 b: 52/53). On the video he proclaims:.

01:25:26 That of-course is one of the ultimate goals of the paths of the grand liberation…to liberate yourself from an identity with the finite body-mind to the infinite universe at large and that's your unborn, undying original face, the true Self, the timeless Self, the Self that has in a sense integrated every sentient being.

Wilber, so we hear, wishes his followers to be liberated from these restricting social conventions for the true Self to light up, which – in line with his integral theory – has integrated every sentient being. His rigidly set up rules though, on which he builds in the video, his directions of saying hi and hallo, of greeting each other are not apt to set us free from a confining social demeanor. On the contrary they reinforce a self-protective behavior, which hides behind a wall of rigidly conformist rules.

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6. The Integral Turquoise Embrace

In his practical instructions given on the video Wilber continues to introduce his own precepts, which are meant to replace an accepted social behavior. These are his newly devised turquoise rules, which, so he declares, are of outstanding importance.

01:39:07 How should we meet each other, how should we give criticism to each other, how should we support each other, how should we care for each other, how should we embrace each other…all of those things are crucial, they are absolutely crucial.

For Wilber, so we hear, there is a way of embracing each other, which must be observed, once you have arrived at turquoise. Let us look at the act of embracing as it displays itself outside the integral community. Here things are handled more or less freely. How you hug a person has to do with your individuality, your psychological set up. It also depends on the person you embrace. You hug your lover not in the way you hug a family member.

You will approach your crush carefully, smile and say some caring words or compliments, something you will not do when hugging a good old friend. No matter whom you embrace you will make sure that he or she is expecting a hug. It can be awkward when you hug someone out of the blue.

Before taking in arms your crush you may give her a small massage with your hands, and try to warm her. You can lift her in the air and shift her weight towards you. This is something she may like. You may interlock your leg in hers, if she finds it appropriate. In case she squeezes tightly, you will hug back the same way, maybe give her a real bear hug.

Embracing a good old friend will not be the same as taking in arms your crush. Hugging a family member will be different again. This is quite naturally so, because the feelings towards a member of your clan are not the same as you feel for a crush or an old friend.

The way you embrace someone depends much on the mood the other person is in. You may give a long, loving hug, when the person is feeling upset or down. When you are sweaty or stinky you may decide not to hug at all, no matter whether you have to do with a lover, an old friend or a family member.

Embracing another person is a private affair. There are some social rules to be followed. They are quite variable though, depending on time and circumstances. In our normal society this is not handled so rigidly, giving enough latitude for the human being to freely express his or her individual inclinations.

This is different for the turquoise embrace as visualized by Ken Wilber. For him there is only one turquoise embrace, which is different from the one amber, one orange, one green embrace. This is turquoise now, which we must firmly keep in mind, says Ken Wilber. Arriving at turquoise is not enough, which we must never forget. It does not suffice to get to turquoise. What we must learn now is to put turquoise into practice.

01:38:42 So when you get to turquoise and don't know what the translation rules are, that is something that has to be experimentally [tried out by] trial and error, thinking it out for the first time in history, so how should we meet each other…how should we care for each other, how should we embrace each other.

Merely getting to turquoise does not tell you how to embrace another person the turquoise way. This is not the orange, amber, or green embrace. It is not the teal hug you were accustomed to. The turquoise embrace, due to its higher nature, is inherently different. So it has to be learnt over completely.

After all there is growing number of people in the integral community who, so Wilber, have arrived at turquoise. Now this is a community which has come into existence only recently under Ken Wilber's tutelage. So this is an entirely new phenomenon now, which did not exist in the past. Thus an action, like the proper turquoise embrace, has, so Wilber, to be thought out for the first time in history. Like everything else this must be learnt anew, worked out in our daily living, which involves a process of trial and error.

Wilber does not wish to confine himself to mere theoretical reflections on turquoise. What he is concerned with, is the practical life people are engaged in. So he affirms.

01:48:55 The theoretical is important, God knows, but I always include in my sections: Practice, practice, practice, make this real and getting the actual nitty, gritty of what to do, when you get to something like arriving, and let's say right now turquoise is a good enough arrival for at least the next five years. So what are you going to do for five years, learn how to be turquoise, nobody else knows, and there are no books on it.

That is right. There are no books on how to say hi and hallo, on how to embrace each other once we have arrived at turquoise. Maybe Ken Wilber will one day compose the needed oeuvre dealing with a translation of his newly set up rules into practical turquoise life. So far there is no book taking care of the subject. This is, as seen from Wilber's perspective, one of the reasons why it will take about five years or so to get these turquoise rules right. With the proper literature on the subject, so Wilber implies, you will get there earlier.

Here an integral follower, who is not yet totally persuaded of Wilber's eminence, may ask himself: Has Wilber himself accomplished the integral task? His greeting of an audience in the Integral Living Room does this display the turquoise skill, which we will have to master one day? Or does Wilber himself keep on practicing to perfect his greeting skill, his mannerism, like wiping the corners of his mouth, sniffing out of one nostril? .

To simplify the matter let us assume that Ken Wilber has accomplished the task. So he does not have to practice his smiling, wiping and sniffing any more. This does not exempt the Wilberite from his own turquoise practice. It does not liberate him from the trial and error he has to go through. He has not yet accomplished these practical skills like a Ken Wilber has. So he will have to keep on practicing for the next five years or so. For the integral Wilberite this will be the only way to get these actions right, like embracing another person the turquoise way. .


Practicing the turquoise embrace
Alone on a cloudless day.

Seen in the light of an integral view it may be advisable to practice the embrace on one's own first, alone in the open air, under a cloudless blue sky maybe. This can be seen as a blue-sky embrace, in which one attempts to get the position, the stretching of the arms right, before trying these actions out on another turquoise being. After all an unwanted gesture may cause embarrassment, which is to be avoided in a second tiers community.

After the Wilberite has accomplished the turquoise practice, she can move on to indigo, which is the next higher stage after turquoise. Wilber explains .

01:25:33 When somebody at turquoise might say something like the earth is a single organism with one mind, indigo will say I am that organism. It shifts from an intellectual understanding, although there is a lot of feeling, and feeling and thought tend to be integrated for the first time.

The turquoise embrace is a preliminary practice only to get ready for the higher indigo embrace, where feeling and thought become integrated for the first time. Looking at the matter in a clear light now one can see what Ken Wilber presents is a highly befogged theory. It does not integrate feeling and thought as Wilber believes. In Wilber's rigidly designed turquoise practice you become split off from your feeling. Your sensations, emotions are not allowed to flow freely from within to manifest themselves in your body language. The spontaneous inner expression is suppressed by a controlling turquoise rule. Wilber, who solemnly promises to heal the split between mind and body, enhances the rift between the two. So he rambles on, when in turquoise .

01:42:25 You have to relearn everything, to brushing your teeth, to cooking, all of this is different because you are at a higher level, more information, a better view.

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7. Brushing your Teeth the Integral Turquoise Way

Let us look at the brushing of teeth now. It is an act, which outside the integral community fulfills a practical function. We brush our teeth to prevent cavities and gum disease. This s a practical measure to be taken, which does not have anything to do with a higher or lower stage of consciousness you have attained to. There is no amber, green or turquoise way of brushing your teeth.

Host Terry Patten does not see it this way. Complimenting Wilber on his speech he declares:.

01:46:47 This is bringing your incredible perspective and passion right into the place that we are exploring together. We are kind of hanging out together on the skinny branches here right on the edge, endeavoring to have a more passionate engaged vulnerable conversation at the edge that creates that translative move… that is enabling that integral consciousness to be a little less abstract, a little more embodied, a little more mutual, a little more lived in the heart and soul of our experience, and for us to have this panoramic view, how that relates to the whole evolutionary journey, for that to be crisped up for us, really empowers what we are doing this weekend.

For Wilber “a higher level”, so we heard, means “more information, a better view” (01:42:25). For Patten it is the “panoramic view”, which “creates that translative move”, here of brushing one's teeth the turquoise way. This, so Patten, enables the “integral consciousness to be a little less abstract…a little more lived in the heart and soul of our experience.” .

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Brushing your teeth the turquoise way with
left and right hemispheres synchronized.

You may “crisp up” your hamburgers, unless you are a vegetarian. Wilber's “panoramic view” does not get “crisped up” in Wilber “evolutionary journey”, as Patten proclaims. Ken Wilber's speech does not make things less abstract. His turquoise tooth-brushing does not make the issue more embodied, more lived in the heart and soul of our experience, as Patten affirms in his drawn out eulogy on Ken Wilber. What we find here is an idea of tooth-brushing, which is another Wilberian abstraction.

Brushing one's teeth is not seen as the simple human experience, which it is. A plain, an ordinary event has become alienated from real life to be transformed into a tooth-brushing ideal devoid of all life. Ken Wilber continues .

01:47:51 Nothing would be worse than four billion years of evolution producing a group of people of extraordinary high capacity and all they talk about is drivel. It is like what? That's it? That's the best you can come up with?.

Going to the grocery-store, saying hi and hallo, brushing one's teeth is the drivel Wilber comes up with. People outside the integral community talk about similar trivial things. There is, however, a difference. While chatting about these ordinary things people know that they ramble about trifles. This is not so for Ken Wilber. Yelling, greeting, embracing one another, brushing one's teeth have become ideas of crucial importance to be enacted the turquoise way.

01:42:25 That is what the nature of a new transformation is about, that is what is so extraordinary. You have to relearn how to do everything, I am serious you have to relearn everything…because you are at a higher level, more information, a better view of the world at large, and more keen information and structures that you ever had, and that means fundamentally everything changes. Raising kids totally different, school totally different, job, God, as soon as they show up they will be different. These are incredibly important items to keep in mind.

“You have to relearn how to do everything”, says Ken Wilber. The items mentioned above are meant to serve as examples only for the practices, which have to be relearned. They are more relevant than brushing one's teeth, also for Ken Wilber I deem. While cleaning your teeth you are alone at home in your bathroom. Raising kids, going to school, working on your job, are activities, in which you are engaged in an interaction with other people. Without these and other practical activities an orderly social life is not possible.

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8. A Turquoise Car-Driving on our Pubic Roads

In line with the examples of social interaction given by Wilber I would like to add another issue, in which we are openly, directly interacting with each other. This is the act of driving a car on a public road. Like all other actions, according to Wilber, this has to be experimentally tried out, to be relearned over completely in a process of trial and error.

Driving a car on a public road entails a social interaction, in which danger to life and limb is involved. So in our society for reasons of public safety a driver's license must be obtained by those who wish to participate in our public road traffic.

Now Wilber is not concerned with practical, down-to-earth questions of public safety, of obtaining a driver's license. What is at stake is his integral theory. For him driving a car is another skill, which must be learnt anew, to be perfected, accomplished the turquoise way.

01:40:4 That is a major, major, major issue that we all need to confront and keep in mind and take very, very seriously. It does not do any good to get to turquoise and then act in a completely fucked up way.

Acting in a messed up way would be to get to turquoise and drive one's car in a red, in an amber way. This is acting out a performance, which suits people in a lower stage of development. It is a car driving in tune with a conformist, a self-protective way of living, which the turquoise driver must overcome.

What is required in turquoise is a new style of driving. So the formerly acquired driving skills must be learnt over completely. This again means practice, practice, for the next five years or so. After all this is not a simple first tiers driving. With turquoise you are high up in second tiers, where everything “is more complex”. affirms Wilber.

01:45:14 It is talking about how you now interact as a genuine real human being, now that you have the capacity to do it. First tiers does not have the capacity to do that. When we get to second tiers we have the capacity to do this.

Only when high up in second tiers you can learn to do these things, like driving a car the turquoise way. Truly engaged in your turquoise practice you will know .

01:40:4 It's more complex, you have more variables to be taken into mind.

The turquoise variables will not be taken into account by the lowly developed first tiers driver. He cannot do this, because he is not capable of grasping the complicated rules of second tiers thinking.


Practicing the turquoise style
with a happy clear light vision.

“It might be noted that second-tiers thinking has to emerge in the face of much resistance from first-tier thinking”, says Wilber. (2000 b: 52/53). So there will be a lot of resistance from the common first-tiers driver against the second tiers turquoise driver. The common self-protective drivers will not want to comply with the progressive driving style of the rare turquoise beings. Te result will be a lot of friction, with people and cars rubbing against each other in the public road traffic.

That is why I suggest that the turquoise car driver practices his complex variables invariably on private turquoise lanes. I advise that he stays away from the public road traffic, this not only for the security of a lowly developed first tiers being. I advocate this also for the safeguard of a highly evolved turquoise life.

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9. The Wilberite who Never Lives

When you arrive at turquoise you have transcended all previous stages. According to Wilber these have an important function to fulfill. Without the lower stages there is no way to get to the higher turquoise level. All previous stages are necessary in terms of the overall growth and development. You have to pass through each of these levels. None of them can be skipped. Turquoise, in its turn now, is a stage you have to go through to get to the higher indigo.

The Wilberite aspires to climb higher and higher on Wilber's ladder like scheme, somewhat mitigated by his later discovered waves. This does not help the Wilberite to live in the Here and Now. His gaze is always fixed on the next higher stage or wave to be attained. Never satisfied with the way things are, he always looks to the future. You cannot live in the future. You can only live in the Here and Now. So the Wilberite, who is always occupied with the future, never really lives.

01:36:54 Particularly those who are already at the integral level, at some point we want to stop talking about transformation and start talking about translation. So in other words if all you talk about is transformation, then as soon as you get to green, all you are working on is how to get out of green. As soon as you get to teal all you talk about is how to get out of teal, and as soon as you get to turquoise, all you talk about is how you get out of turquoise, when are you going to live? Take a breath.

Wilber is aware of the fact that his followers, who always aspire to get to the next higher stage, do not really live. What he does not realize is the fact that his own theory is the cause of the dilemma. The different stages have been devised by Wilber as something one has to go through only to attain to the next higher level. If after five years or so you have not accessed the next higher stage, there is something wrong with you. You got stuck on a lower stage of evolution, which must by all means be avoided. So the true Wilberite keeps on struggling.

Wilber, who is aware of the fact, yells: “When are you going to live. Take a breath.” To take a breath, so he continues, “at some point we want to stop talking about transformation and start talking about translation”. .

Now the Wilberite has to tackle the task of translating turquoise into real life. From now on he is occupied with getting this yelling, greeting, embracing right. Ken Wilber asked the Wilberite to take a break, to pause in his ongoing struggle, to start living for a while. The Wilberite, however, is not invited to live in the Here and Now. There is now a new task to be accomplished. He may forget about transformation for the next five years. This does not mean that he is allowed to pause, to take a breath. From now on he must practice to get the translation rules right.

01:48:55 The theoretical is important, God knows, but I always include in my sections: Practice, practice, practice…learn how to be turquoise.

So we hear Wilber again. Getting to turquoise does not mean that you are automatically going to be turquoise. To be turquoise you have to keep on practicing to get this hi and hallo, this hugging, this brushing of your teeth right. All other actions must be learnt over completely. Only this way you can truly be turquoise.

While asking his Wilberites to take a breath, Wilber drives them on. The Wilberites never live in the Here and Now. Split off in their minds from the present they are always occupied with a future attainment to be accomplished. So they never really live.

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10. Another New Age Joke: A Ken Wilber who Screwed Up Worse

Wilber's ascending integral scheme, as presented in the Boulder video, is achievement, is future oriented. This is at opposites with a genuine spiritual path, which is intended to guide the seeker into a blissful Here and Now. One might think that Wilber's theory is in line with a Western meritocratic society. Looking more closely into the matter one can see that this does not hold true. Wilber's speech does not even live up to the standards of a Western performance society.

In the educational system of the US, for example, you can move up from a High School Diploma to a B.A., then to an M. A., to finally earn a Ph.D, which is a respected title obtained by less than 1 % of the population. This way you may gain the respect namely of the 99 % of the people who do not hold the cherished title.

Wilber, “when questioned by some of his students about his apparent lack of understanding of evolutionary theory, a few years back, …wrote (Vomitting confetti, Friday, May 27, 2005): .

'Folks, give me a break on this one. I have a Master's degree in biochemistry, and a Ph.D. minus thesis in biochemistry and biophysics, with specialization in the mechanism of the visual process. I did my thesis on the photoisomerization of rhodopsin in bovine rod outer segments.

I know evolutionary theory inside out, including the works of Dawkins et al. The material of mine that is being quoted is extremely popularized and simplified material for a lay audience.'” (quoted by Frank Visser in Integral Design: Ken Wilber's Views on Evolution).

What Wilber actually says is this. I would like to have a Ph.D, but I only hold an M.A. I have, however, done additional work, which goes beyond an M.A. degree. It is like holding an M.A. plus, but I do not want to call it this way. I wish to classify it as a Ph.D minus, because it has the Ph.D in it. This is a title, which is lacking in our educational system. To fill in the gap I created it myself to bestow it upon myself. It is an honor, which I do deserve. After all I know evolutionary theory inside out, including the works of Dawkins et al.

Does he know evolutionary theory inside out or outside in? Is this depth or mere surface? For this you can turn to Frank Visser's view on Ken Wilber's Views on Evolution

When Wilber shows off his Ph.D. minus, he is not aware of doing so. If he were he would not put on his goofy show. Nobody deliberately sets out to make himself look ridiculous in the eyes of his fellow-men. It is an unconscious process, in which Ken Wilber is engaged. He has internalized the rules of the achievement oriented society he lives in. As a result he holds on to his Ph.D minus, which he so keenly displays.

The sentiments underlying a performance society can be seen reflected in Wilber's hierarchical system. There is, however, a difference. To get a Ph.D in the US, you have to complete a doctoral thesis and have it approved. This is to verify that you are able to do original research. For this your theses must be reviewed by peers in your field of specialization testifying that your work does indeed elucidate something new. Ken Wilber's scientific theory, however, which is highly acclaimed within an integral community, has never been peer reviewed.

Let us turn now from an academic to a commonsense theory, which pertains to our daily life. For this imagine a medical handbook, which contains a chapter on tooth-brushing. There we read: ”To properly brush your teeth apply a special cleaning procedure. For this tilt the brush against the gumline, then sweep and roll the brush away from the gumline. Brush the outside, the inside of the chewing surface using back-and-forth strokes.” .

01:48:55 The theoretical is important, God knows, but I always include in my sections: Practice, practice, practice…learn how to be turquoise.

So we hear Ken Wilber again, who wants to see his vision-logic incorporated, here in the act of tooth-brushing. You may say: What I miss in Wilber's turquoise vision logic is a logic of tooth-brushing, which can be put into practice, like the one expounded in the medical hand-book. I do not see how Wilber's turquoise relates to the practical act of brushing one's teeth. Here is Wilber's answer as given in Chapter I of his A Theory of Everything He writes: “Nothing that can be said in this book will convince you that a T.O.E. is possible, unless you already have a touch of turquoise coloring your cognitive palette”, and then you will say: “I already knew that! I just didn't know how to articulate it.” (2000 a: 14) .

Imagine someone in an abstract of a Ph.D. dissertation argues: You can only grasp what I say when you already have a touch of what I say. Our peers will not be particularly touched by our candidate's logic. For them there would be no reason to look more closely into the propounded line of argument. A mere perusal of the abstract would be enough to have the dissertation rejected. His thesis like Wilber's T.O.E. is worthy of a Ph.D minus only. Wilber says, once you have arrived at a turquoise vision-logic.

01:42:20 You have to relearn everything from going to the grocery store, to brushing your teeth, to cooking, all of this is different, because you are at a higher level.

No matter whether Wilber is concerned with his theory as such or with the translation of his theory into everyday life, he wants to take care of everything Thus everything, whatever its nature may be, must be included. So the brushing of teeth cannot be left out in Wilber's all-inclusive translation of his all encompassing theory.

Like our peers I do not have a touch of turquoise. So I am not touched by Wilber's vision-logic. This means I will happily keep on brushing my teeth the usual way.

This is different for the Wilberites, who have arrived at turquoise. So they must acquire the skill of brushing their teeth the turquoise way, which can only be accomplished in a process of trial and error.

01:40:4 That is a major, major, major issue that we all need to confront and keep in mind and take very, very seriously. It does not do any good to get to turquoise and then act in a completely fucked up way. It's not hard to do that. Being at a higher level does not mean everything is 100 % right. In many cases being at a higher level means you screw up worse, because you are smarter, it's more complex, you have more variables to be taken into mind. Therefore when we get all those wrong it is a clusterfuck. So we really have to think now in turquoise.

Unknowingly Ken Wilber speaks of himself. He is a colorful example of the cases he alludes to. Being at a higher level he is smarter. So he screwed up worse, with his turquoise Wilberites, deemed to belong in the upper 0,1 % of the population, following in his multicolored footsteps.

In the Wilberites' world the practical acts of walking, cooking, yelling, greeting, embracing, brushing one's teeth have been blown up, raised to lofty cerebral abstractions devoid of all meaning. So they have become alienated from real life. What our Wilberites are engaged in is translating a cooked up vision-logic theory into a dreamt up turquoise life. So they aspire to eventually move up to indigo.

Ken Wilber said that at “indgo… feeling and thought tend to be integrated for the first time (01:25:33) So for the first time now the Wilberite guy, who turned indigo, can hug his crush with feeling and thought integrated. What a feeling! Wow! .

Now seriously, what we truly see is a singular mental aberration, which I do not want to label as a clusterfuck. I would like to call it a unique New Age joke.

In his Introduction to Sex, Ecology, Spirituality (SES) Wilber writes: .

“It is a brief history of cosmos, bios, psyche, theos – a tale told by an idiot, it goes without saying, but a tale that, precisely in signifying Nothing, signifies the All.” (1995: viii) .

So Ken Wilber, adoringly called by Wilberites the Einstein of Consciousness, tells his own joke now. In my essay Ken Wilber's Blind Spot I arrived at the conclusion that his tale, which signifies No-thing, does not signify the All. It signifies No-thing, which signifies no-thing at All. So just replace the by at, and you get it right.” [see par. 24: A prerational Ken Wilber] I meant this quite seriously so. The Einstein of Consciousness and myself, it appears to me, have a different sense of humor.

References

Wilber, Ken, Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, The Spirit of Evolution, Shamballa, Boston & London, 1995.

Wilber, Ken, A Theory of Everything, An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science, and Spirituality, Shamballa, Boston, 2000 a .

Wilber, Ken, Integral Psychology, Consciousness, Spirit, Psychoolgy, Therapy, Shamballa, Boston & London, 2000 b.




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