Reflections on Ken Wilber's The Religion of Tomorrow (2017) - Parts I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII - PDF
INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
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Zakariyya IshaqZakariyya Ishaq is a writer who has just completed his first book on the subject of spiritual cosmology. An original new theory he feels can rival any: THE ELLIPSE: THE FALL AND RISE OF THE HUMAN SOUL: SECRETS OF THE COSMOS. In addition to being a writer he is a musician, computer professional, and community activist. He is a Graduate of Devry University in Digital Electronic Technology. Ishaq has been a mystical seeker of enlightenment for 30 years, a member of 3 Sufi Orders: and has studied formally and informally Buddhism, Vedanta Cosmology, Cabala, Taoism, Sufism, Integral Philosophy, and various other mystic esoteric and exoteric schools of thought.


Wilberism-5
and Metaphysics

Zakariyya Ishaq

“Phenomena is a bridge to the real”

What is metaphysics?

Metaphysics is the science/knowledge created to restore the fallen human to a level of consciousness that he had primordially possessed but lost

Metaphysics utilizes phenomena as a vehicle to facilitate this goal; it is a temporary created science or knowledge in this regard as a guide to the restoration of the broken soul and then at its “death” provides impetus to the final divine step in the stabilization of human consciousness.

Metaphysics is a serious of spiritual systems that attempts to affect an aspect of the inner human’s most subtle realms where absolute change can occur if this realm is addressed properly from this lower realms standpoint. The lower realms are the world of mind and body, this higher realm is the realm of spirit and soul. The fallen nature we have developed in time has cut us off from contact or consciousness of the 2 higher realms. Though metaphysics is a holistic idea, it is not merely about accessing these realms per se, in other words the goal is to restore the human or in some later metaphysical systems where the restore aspect is deemphasized, the goal is not necessarily to get consciousness of the other two realms but in restoring the human back to its lost nature, and contact to the other two realms is one existential consequent result.

So the goal is not: we must access our lost contact with soul and spirit

It is: we must unify our consciousness around our perfect nature thereby becoming a holistic being.

Different metaphysical schools of thought have different symbolic expressions in their spiritual language. For example: Sufi technical language calls the goal of their science, to reach the completed person, in Buddhism it is termed, Buddha nature then on to awakening.

The purpose of affecting the two higher worlds more closely in metaphysical endeavor is that the source of the problem resides in these higher realms. The metaphysics is a powerful psychic tool, or medicine that theoretically just as a medicine is induced orally to affect for example some part of the brain indirectly in a neural pathology, so does the psychic science through mental and physical activity-practice- attempt to affect something in the higher realms. Metaphysics attempt to reach the two higher realms to heal the aspect that needs healing.

Genuine classical metaphysics is not ontology, or epistemology, philosophy, or evolutionary scientism later accretions to the simple metaphysics of the masters by theorists who have no connection to the original metaphysics given to humans.

Ken Wilber’s denouncing these accretions as no longer needed is a straw man of his own making.

AQAL and Metaphysics

AQAL?

What is the essence of the AQAL idea? It supposed to be a map of some sort.

A map is supposed to chart something; so Wilber is claiming that this Quadrant theory is charting something.

What is it charting? Well since he is claiming that this “map” that includes this 4 layered correspondence entity- he calls formally “The Four Quadrants” can just about map anything.

A few questions for Wilber:.

Is this a theory that claims to identify levels of reality?

Why four Quadrants? Are four the essential number or levels of reality?

What is the difference between a world, a level, and a dimension, and what is a quadrant?

Does his system have any relationship with the four world concept of some mystical theories?

The big questions? What is the etymology of this theory? Where is its logic from?

Have you explained its cosmological logic? Or its philosophical roots? Or its scientific basis?

Wilber’s AQAL idea of lines, levels, states, and stages, and types are not directly involved with the process known as enlightenment according to metaphysics. Of course AQAL has no methodological practicality other than Wilber’s idea of comprehensive understanding of the “Quadrants

Wilber’s Lines, Levels, states, and stages, types, affecting the higher realms, or having anything to do with the concept of awakening is an impossibility. To use an analogy: when one takes a medicine for example, a headache, in order for it to affect the pain it must actually physically contact the cells that are causing the problem. AQAL doesn’t have a theoretical solution to the problem of enlightenment. The primary reason this is because Wilber can’t identify any real substantial relationship of the 4 Quadrants with anything identifiable in metaphysics or the science of enlightenment.

Recall metaphysics is a methodology that through lower realm [mind/body] activity seeks to affect the higher realms.

AQAL being a non dynamic linear abstract cosmological theory at best has no relationship theoretically, methodologically, or logically to this formulae of metaphysics.

Metaphysics, in theory affects that part of the soul that is sick. When affected and healed the entire organism is set in its proper place according to the theory through a spiritual or psychic process that from our standpoint is mysterious and works mainly outside of our direct perception, or is unseen to us. Theoretically metaphysics is not trying to heal any aspect of the mind/body syndrome directly since the source of the problems of humans according to metaphysics is in the higher realms.

Wilber’s theories don’t even tell us what is sick, or what needs to be changed for the human to advance. That’s so because it is a linear, non dynamic abstract cosmology that has no relationship with anything as dynamic and specific as metaphysics. Unfortunately down the age’s primarily western philosophers, theorists, and some followers of the metaphysicians have as stated above added things to metaphysics that were unrelated to its dynamic aspects, therefore a highly distorted view of traditional metaphysics has arisen out of this conundrum that has left the world bereft of a true understanding of metaphysics. This essay although primarily isn’t about this topic- that is the perversion of the understanding of metaphysics; this will be broached in order to fully explain the thesis of this essay: that is Wilberism [AQAL] and its lack of true identity with genuine metaphysics.

Development

His developmental theories are highly flawed because development in itself means nothing in terms of progress towards a specific goal, enlightenment for example. Indeed one can development negatively just as easily as they developed positively. It is the science of Metaphysics through it doctrines of cultivating the virtues that guides this “development” in a positive direction. AQAL lacks this, other than Wilber’s lines of moral development that as far as I know is not any special problem in Wilber’s system.

Wilber’s juxtaposition of AQAL (that is the lines, levels, states, and stages aspect) inside the 4 quadrants seems to be an attempt to draw his theory towards the metaphysical concept of enlightenment but the theory as it stands now lacks any guiding premise as it relates to the metaphysic idea of completeness in terms of a practical approach to mysticism. The aspect of all lines, all levels are Wilber’s attempt at a guiding parameter relating it to metaphysics without really proving to us whether these lines and levels are substantially related at all to the quadrants.

Additionally one might ask the question? Does Wilber think mysticism is based on these lines of development, solely, when historically it appears that it is based on mis-developement, corruption, or impurity. May there be additional aspects of the inward psychology that Wilber neglects to cover and include in his map? Additionally there are numerous other LOD’s and stage maps that are not included in AQAL that deal with other arcane aspects of the inward that are different than the Wilberian concepts. Implying that metaphysics includes all lines of development, states and stages when we take into account the pursuit of enlightenment may be overstating the case since metaphysics is dealing with a specific aspect of the soul’s imbalance. On the other hand he may be understating the case if it turns out his quadrants are if anything only an aspect of the universe, not the end and be all of it. Naturally any metaphysical theory will understand that any corruption of the soul will affect potentially and directly other aspects of it. All of this is said in reference to Wilber’s assertion that full enlightenment is the full development of AQAL lines and levels along the lines of some linear evolutionary scheme that involves on one hand non-dual awareness coupled with union with evolving form. What becomes unified with form Wilber doesn’t as I can tell say.

In a nutshell this idea has no validity metaphysically or logically which we will cover later as we go along.

As for traditional metaphysics, not the straw man metaphysics Wilber disingenuously creates just to knock down [something spoken more on later] as if true mystics before and beyond Buddha didn’t say the same thing as Wilber is now, but only without the misleading context of AQAL to further confuse, or diffuse truth.

It may be a corruption of a particular or few developmental lines, particularly the moral lines or their retardation because of the primordial corruption of the soul that allowed for the separation of humans from their nature that are involved in the pursuit of enlightenment In other words it appears that Wilber is inferring a truth from the symmetrical hypothesis that all lines and levels have to be fully developed to reach full enlightenment, because it seems logical. This is not a proof to me that his hypothesis is correct. It may appear reasonable but none the less a questionably irrelevant assumption that a fully enlightened individual has all their inner lines, states and stages fully developed evolutionarily. But how can we reasonably assume this to be true when all the aspects of the soul are not fully understood or mapped in Wilber’s AQAL. As a prime example in the Wilber map, with it’s assumptions, in for example him relating Lines of Development, with states and stages, all in one as if these very different, albeit relative, aspects of the inner psychology necessarily follow his symmetrical scheme. That hasn’t remotely been proven by Wilber.

It is not to say that it doesn’t have any partial reality to it, in the sense that a blind man may have all his inner lines of development, healthily developed, but still be blind. In other words it is that metaphysics is about dealing with that blindness, and when that is accomplished all the other aspects of being will presumably be set in place. This is primarily so because they were never out of place. These other aspects don’t necessarily have to have anything to do with enlightenment directly.

The bottom line question to Wilber in this? Is he in his thinking trying to relate AQAL to metaphysics, and using western scientism as a yardstick, not metaphysics to understand and explain metaphysics? He is not explaining metaphysics through the language of scientism, and or philosophy for the sake of integral understanding- a reasonable and useful pursuit, no, he is actually trying to explain, understand, and even utilize, metaphysics through a language-AQAL metaphysics doesn’t accept, a daunting, task, to say the least.

The problem with this is easy to see. Wilber presumes his AQAL theory is true because it fits so snugly in his TOE postulates even though his juxtaposition of LOD’S, states, and stages, with the quadrants are at best a hypotheses, within a hypothesis but when he attempts to relate AQAL to the ideas of metaphysics, thereby going outside of his scientism, and developmental notions he gets lost in his own postulates, and therefore “post metaphysics” is formed as some sort of advancement or difference in the classical theories of the traditional metaphysicians. As if AQAL is not as abstract as his post-metaphysical pereniallists straw man metaphysician. This occurs because Wilber perceives that metaphysics has absolutely nothing in common with his AQAL theories [something easy to see, if one looks] therefore we need the intellectual conjuration of post-metaphysics.

Here is Wilber’s dilemma:

AQAL is a comprehensive amalgamation of all knowledge in a nutshell, according to him.

But genuine metaphysics really doesn’t care, deal with, and concern itself, with phenomena such as all knowledge.

Metaphysics is a dynamic tool used within the framework of life to affect change in the deepest aspect of human psychology; it is not listed in any cosmologies that don’t cover the metaphysical premise that a part of the soul of man has been corrupted.

Well then, Wilber may have perceived this reality in his study of Metaphysics.

Therefore AQAL must be post-metaphysics

AQAL is not post-metaphysical

It is non metaphysical!

Post metaphysics to the westernized hangers on and interpreters of the traditional metaphysics, or pereniallists who have always laid their own commentary and philosophy from a western angle on classical metaphysics, so all the metaphysical baggage Wilber labels are in fact not sourced in anything from true metaphysics.

These commentators on the metaphysical idea from the renaissance occultist to Henri Corbin, to Huston Smith although fine outstanding gentlemen have as about as much connection to genuine metaphysics as Wilber’s proverbial Santa Clause.

So he erects these philosophers, and quasi mystics as representatives of the idea of metaphysics, and thereby tearing down metaphysics through the false interpretation of it by these interlopers, who have never represented it properly!

So we can clearly see Wilber’s challenges in that he tries to define traditional metaphysics through a distorted notion of it. He seems to not have any real idea or understanding of metaphysics, just these abstruse western non metaphysical resemblances of it that he judges it on!

Non- post-Metaphysics is entirely about change in a certain direction in order to reach the goal of the mystic which is solely the arrival at completeness as defined by truth, in regard the time, place, and elements that are bars or veils to arriving at this truth. This is the only nuance acceptable to the metaphysician: that is the roadblocks, historical, structural, and literal that keeps humans far away from their true nature. This change is change itself, not philosophy or scientism. The idea of change is important because without it there is no growth, only stagnation in ignorance, and darkness. So change is the fuel of the path to truth because it begins the person on a trajectory that may lead to truth.

This change revolves around the inner psychological content of the human: or in metaphysical language: the heart; spirit; soul; mind; self As well as cultivating the virtues in order to guide the polarity of the change in a certain direction. Certainly Wilber’s western centered LOD’S, levels, understanding of states and stages intersects with these inner elements of the being that metaphysics works with but from his standpoint to a great degree these elements are approached by evolution and AQAL not metaphysics. This notion to classical metaphysics is clearly alien, because their basic premise(the metaphysicians) is that as the condition of the soul stands now, any metaphysical input is not sourced or driven in anything like AQAL or evolution, but solely is driven by the intelligence that is dealing with the structure that is out of balance. AQAL, evolution is wholly independent from this, can operate, with or without it, and has no direct relationship with it. AQAL and evolution are totally passive to this process whereas metaphysics is the active fuel that stokes the fire of full enlightenment, without, there would be none. The only other aspect of reality that has anything to do with what metaphysics intention is; is the cosmic law of return that operates on its own, unrelated to evolution, and certainly to AQAL.

It is perfectly reasonable for an intellectual like Wilber to presume that the structures that make up the developmental apparatuses of the human are directly tied to enlightenment, but this notion has serious problems when we understand that metaphysics is about the reparation of a corrupted structure of the soul, that at restoration enlightenment is a consequence of this restoration. Is it theoretically reasonable for Wilberian thought to assume at best that his method can nonetheless be another level of trying to heal this soul that is sick, so therefore as legitimate as metaphysics?

Let’s examine this possibility for a minute. Can in theory the aspect of the soul- the essence- that mysticism is attempting to repair be approached by AQAL, and or scientism as suggested by Wilbreian ideas. That can only be so, if the structures enumerated in AQAL have an effect and direct relationship with the operand of the soul that metaphysics is trying to effect. Metaphysics never claimed that humans were totally disabled, and that all their structures were therefore in need of repair. Certainly humans however defective have evolved to some sort of operational balance within the metaphysic idea of existing imbalance being the bane of mans present existence. Therefore why would we presume that AQAL could affect this part of the soul when in history it’s never been recorded that ordinary “healthy” development has produced enlightenment! Wilber’s contention that healthy development is accellelerated by certain forms of metaphysics seems like a reasonably idea, but in reality it is off the mark in that it is metaphysics that affect the realm of the soul or spirit not the lines of development. Undoubtedly if one concentrates on the moral lines of development in some form, or any other LOD’S that healthily develops the individual that can affect his spiritual growth then that is a good thing obviously, but we are talking literal physics here. And AQAL has no relationship physically in theory or otherwise to the soul-essence, the object of metaphysics; and states and stations Wilber is so fixated on relate solely to the psychic sphere. AQAL is like a person rubbing their head because they have a broken leg, but the problem is inside the leg and all the head rubbing in the world will not get to the root of it.

As for states and stations, well it is clear Wilber has no understanding of them in terms of metaphysics, only as relating to psychology; the states and stages, or stations in true metaphysics exist in the higher realms entirely they have no relationship with the lower realms of LOD’S and types he talks about. They certainly can affect them but not on any level Wilber is remotely aware of.

Wilber either doesn’t accept this cosmological premise, or even if he did there is no reflection in any of his writings that he understands anything about this primordial defect of the soul that transcends ordinary human developmental effects. His mystic scientism would reject this eventhough this is a primary contention of metaphysics; it’s no other way to get around that. That contention is merely that there is a subtle aspect of the human soul species that has been corrupted or put out of balance and only extraordinary means of intense spiritual science (true metaphysics) can penetrate this subtle realm to affect it, otherwise a continual condition of dissatisfaction, all the way to extreme suffering will be the bane of the human condition. That is the basic premise of classical mysticism.

Since Wilberian thought has not approached remotely this soul aspect that is the root of the metaphysic theory it is no wonder that he relies ultimately on the concept of evolution in theory to give his understanding of mysticism a logical basis, outside of mysticism itself. He has relied on scientism to save his metaphysics. As well ironically he still in action relies on the metaphysics of the traditional schools of thought because his students however ruminating on the subtleties of AQAL depend on metaphysics as we know it, to gain enlightenment, not AQAL!

POST METAPHYSICS?

Wilber: from an interview by his publisher:

“The following endnotes are taken from Integral Psychology . They point up, once again, my belief that we need to move from a metaphysical approach (which assumes that numerous planes or levels of reality exist in a radically independent fashion from the consciousness that knows them) and move toward a much more critical approach (which investigates the structures of the subject that knows the object, or in this case, that knows the levels of reality). In the following notes, I try to make two major points: (1) we can no longer conceive planes or levels of reality as entirely pre-existing, pre-given ontological structures;”

What is Wilber’s point here? (Which assumes that numerous planes or levels of reality exist in a radically independent fashion from the consciousness that knows them) Sure they exist not only in the advanced mystic as a reality [something he concedes] but in all as non tapped reality, or dormant reality. So what’s the big thing Wilber? Additionally metaphysical classical theory does postulate through the Hermetic maxim As above So Below, that these plains and levels indeed do have a separate existence from individual microcosms in the realm of the macrocosm. Is this what he objects to?

The states he refers to are subjective in the sense that any individual who reaches “high consciousness” or enlightenment has access to these states (while others in their lesser development stages may not have access to these states at any given time) through the essence body structure, but the structure itself is an objective reality universal to all humans, but only accessible to the restored balanced consciousness or high consciousness of one who has tapped this divine subtlety Wilber repeats this below, but this common metaphysical understanding is traditional in metaphysics, so what point is Wilber making?

Wilber

“2) we can, however, continue to refer to ontologically real levels of reality, but only if they are conceived as fundamentally codependent on the consciousness that perceives and co-creates them.”

Does a child who has not yet arrived at puberty, and therefore not experienced its wonder, negate this reality?

Additionally the concept of co-creation is on the face of it an incorrect notion. It has no basis in reality as Wilber could understand so he has no right to say it!

Wilber’s points seem to be redundant sophistry, not at all novel, or profound.

His points are accurate to some degree but nothing new and well within comprehension of traditional metaphysics. Is this what he basis post- metaphysics on?

Wilber:

This allows us to retain planes, levels, or realms of reality as separate and quasi-independent variables, but only by realizing that those levels of reality are internally related to levels of consciousness, and that if a particular human consciousness does not perceive a realm, that realm can exist only because it is a realm of consciousness held in Spirit (a Spirit that human consciousness itself can directly realize in satori or enlightenment). This dramatically shifts independent levels of reality known by a priori metaphysical speculation, to levels of consciousness known by direct experience (and hence open to continual criticism and refinement via deep science, research, and investigation)--the shift, that is, from metaphysical to post metaphysical spirituality.”

The last part of this statement is meaningless, [as well as ridiculous from the standpoint of metaphysics, since this deep science he refers to can never understand the attainments of the sage from the standpoint of science as it exists today] in fact the entire statement is sophistry. Though it is relatively accurate, although not particularly relevant to anything-, because certainly metaphysics has always referred to high states and inter-dimensional travel as the attributes of the sage, something not accessible to the ordinary human of mundane consciousness.

Evolution

You were once a rock,
then a human,
then you will be an Angel
and one day go beyond that
Rumi

Gebser traces the evidence for the transformations of the structure of consciousness as they are concretized in historical artifacts. He sought to avoid calling this process "evolutionary", since any such notion was illusory when applied to the "unfolding of consciousness." Biological evolution, as Gebser noted at length, was an enclosing process, that particularized a species to a limited environment. The unfolding of awareness is by contrast an opening-up. Any attempt to give a direction or goal to the unfolding of awareness is illusory in that it is based upon a limited notion of time, the mental, which is linear and hence implies "progress." To be sure, Gebser was fully aware that any notion of "human progress" was already played out. He notes that "to progress" is to move toward but is also a moving away from, and he knew that the question as to the fate of humanity is still open, that for it to become closed would be the ultimate tragedy, but that such a closure remains a possibility. Our fate is not assured by any notion of "an evolution toward" any kind of ideal way of being.

Jean Gebser

These words of one of the theoretical founders of the Integral philosophy is correct in excluding evolution from human consciousness development. The philosophy of metaphysics supports this from the standpoint that divine consciousness is already there, it has always been here, so what is there to evolve?

Naturally beyond the conundrum of semantics it is certain that in a sense everything changing is evolving. But not so fast literalist. We are alleging here that many post modern new agers and other type mystics and many Integral theorists are linking literally metaphysics (AND ITS GOAL ENLIGHTENMENT) existentially with evolution. We are contending here that that is a mistaken notion, and nothing in classical metaphysics supports this.

Certainly modern mystical ideas have at least we know colloquially accepted this as a paradigm if not in some formal theoretical cosmologies. In reality this nebulous relationship with metaphysics and some murky new age concept of evolution I challenge anyone to produce any documented serious spiritual treatise that intelligently proves this thesis beyond platitudinal poetics. And I want this thesis from a traditional metaphysician

Wilberism and evolution

Wilber understands evolution in terms of AQAL as a human advancement of something as relates to form, and developmental phenomena. This is an evolutionary mysticism based on an idea of equating mysticism with a notion of the scientific theory of evolution, or the new age idea of evolution as well as his symmetrical notion of lines of development, having a direct relationship with full enlightenment.

Why do people attach the concept of evolution to metaphysics? It has zero to do with mystical truth. Mystical truth is all about arriving through (stages) most of the time, at a condition of union with supreme feeling or a station-state of being beyond ignorance, suffering, and conditioning. This is all based on the configuration of the subtle elements of the soul. Evolution is the opposite of this because it deals with ultimate conditioning. This fixation on evolution is not good because it concentrates on phenomena that have nothing to do with the individual’s progress towards arriving at supreme unconditioned truth. Wilber is not the only person indicating some relationship of “evolution” to mysticism, many others palparat this idea, such as his friend Andrew Cohen. In Wilber’s map certainly this would mostly exist in his UL quadrant were according to him what he terms subjective inner reality abides.

As tempting logically- to the superficial intellect- it is to correlate evolution to mysticism, and enlightenment, this notion becomes absurd when we extend this intellection to the possibility that if we relate these two issues it may be that for awakening to ride on the wild horse of evolution may be its doom, since according to Buddha himself the only thing constant is change. This evolution as the new agers and scientific mystics don’t realize is what Buddha was more than likely referring to in this aphorism

Rumi and others have used analogies about evolving from an inanimate thing, a rock for instance or to a human being, then an Angel to beyond that, but that’s like emphasizing to an adult that once you were a child, and before that you were a fetus. Those are lessons that one illustrates to the lowest tiers of intelligence, or unintelligence, in order to shake that individual out of their linear thinking. Rumi was speaking cosmologically, not metaphysically in the above statement, I contend.

We know that historically pedantic theories inculcated in peoples minds has never led to change and certainly not to truth, just indoctrination. Therefore mystics use theories of the universe rarely and instead concentrate on inspiring the student to change by example, and understanding the theory that he must in a great sense- become the law in order to really evoke change in himself. Once this is done the teacher on one level is no longer even needed, for the student is on his own trajectory to the truth or at least to the real method of truth finding and that is becoming in union with the law. The law is most important in that it is the only way to truth for a particular person as defined by their time and place in the cosmos. The law though is a science (law of cause and affect) of light hidden amongst the confusion of sciences of darkness. But what Wilber and others don’t seem to grasp is that we are talking about a science with a particular intent. That intent is to be a guide to return humans to their true nature. This science is supposed to be from “god” in western mysticism, but for all our intent it could be defined as being from the truth. The truth is the method that works to get from point a to point b by a law of light within darkness. This “law” has no intrinsic value, or reality outside its intent that’s why no reality has ever been given to it by ‘god” or genuine mystics, therefore we have different paths for different ages whose wisdom and intelligence is based on the knowledge of what’s good for one person in their time and place. Any universality ascribed to this law by making it “evolutionary” is incorrect. The essential law of metaphysics is a temporary law that is designed for a specific purpose, it has no intrinsic universality relative to evolution or anything other than the cosmic laws that deal with the return of something to its source of origin after a breach in its integrity. It is this breach that is the driver behind the science itself that drives its consistency, not any thing evolutionary. We should never confuse metaphysics with transcendent reality. Metaphysics is a science of methodologies relating to this return; based evolutionarily (evolutionary intelligence) strictly on the cultural time centered personalities of the guiding archetype-intelligences that preside over this science by light: Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Chrisna, etc.these names and other unmentioned are the essence of the science relative to the time period of their culture. They are the sciences (knowledges) in fact embodied in the personalities and epochs of these individuals. The proposition by mystics, like Muhammad, Buddha, and Moses that none of these sciences are eternal or transcendent is another indication of the temporality of true mysticism.

This more accurate and descriptive term- evolutionary intelligence, I relate to the concept of intelligence that knows the spiritual needs within time and place of all epochs is about all of anything evolutionary applicable to metaphysics we are going to get

Wilber’s evolutionary developmental mysticism therefore is not based on any real understanding of mysticism, but his attempt can be likened to someone carving puzzle pieces up to fit rather than waiting to find the proper piece for the right space. One could do that and still draw some kind of picture, but certainly not the one intended by the puzzle maker. There is nothing in evolution that could possibly produce anything metaphysical, as there is nothing in what is as yet understood as AQAL able to produce anything metaphysical as well. The idea that some natural logical process through AQAL or evolution straightens out the corrupted soul in time is not based on anything in metaphysical theory. This process is based on universal law, and all metaphysics is trying to do is hasten the process along as smooth as possible. One could certainly call that evolution if they like, but if they think this has anything to do with evolution in the classic sense then they are incorrect these are two entirely different unrelated phenomenon.

Wilber’s philosophy is premised apparently on his desire to accommodate some view of scientism that he has internally adapted. Scientist can understand developementalism, but not occult mysticism; therefore we have to discard it!

Scientism is only the law of cause in effect existing in a pattern and relative to mysticism only in that mysticism uses personalities and archetypes as temporal guides so as to be able to communicate with the humans it is trying to effect. When the effect is complete the science dies. This is even the essential meaning of scientism, in fact, in that any science even in this post modern era has as its base in practical reality not philosophy as its driver. Psychology for instance is motivated by the idea of healing the mind, not understanding its structure because of any philosophical intent.

Wilber though is conceptually tied to scientism thereby tied to this notion of evolutionary development of the species that is totally alien to mysticism. This is a notion of his that is a product of his own indoctrination and willing acceptance of western philosophy and science as a valid tool to understanding metaphysical truths, something that genuine mystics only marginally accept at best. Also the modern new age attraction to the “evolution” concept sounds so profound to many without having any substantial reality behind it other than poetic nicety.

Certainly in language some modern mystics use the phraseology of evolution to give impetus to their doctrines, but Wilber has taken this literally as if these phenomena have any reality relative to mysticism.

Wilber must understand that raw science is as relative to mysticism as is the wind, or fire, outside of their use as symbols. This includes evolution, which is the most natural of phenomena, philosophically speaking. So nothing in the natural world has anything intrinsically to do with metaphysics, it exists apart from it because the world will not cease or bow even to the temporal affair of the guidance of humans. All of this is true even though mystics have used phenomena as symbols, and teaching tools since ancient times. But no genuine mystic ever ascribed any real divinity, or intrinsic guiding apparatus to any phenomena: as if a tree can all of a sudden stop being a tree and guide humans to reality! That is the logic of Ken Wilber and the evolutionary mystics of today! His not too subtle suggestion that scientism is at the root of mysticism or is somehow, beyond it is a kind of thinking reminiscent to the dark ages when people believed everything revolved around the earth, based on sky–god theology. Wilber has substituted scientism for this medieval delusion that we are the center of the universe. Scientism or his version of it and philosophy-western philosophy is at the center of Wilberism, not mysticism.

Certainly at the root of any phenomena is a form of scientism in the sense that all phenomena is scientific or cause and effect based on one level, but in mysticism to understand what lies behind it one must understand the cosmic laws that govern the phenomena of the object of mysticism: the return of humans to their lost nature in one realm, and in the subtle realm the physical or rebirth of vital elements of the inward returning to a particular structure. This structure is known in metaphysical jargon, as the essence.

It is our essence that has been wounded or corrupted or more precisely an infinitesimal aspect of it, but just enough none the less to knock us off balance for millennium.

If one does not accept this premise because they think it is transcended or superseded by some supposed evolutionary process, then what they are doing is essentially putting the cart before the horse, in such a way as to loose the very essence of the intent of the endeavor. The intent of the endeavor is movement, not understanding the science of horses!

There is no doubt that the concept of evolution as well as philosophy has a place in mysticism, but more as a servant to the essential reality of mysticism, or an attribute of it’s true affect on the person, that illustrates that the mysticism is working(traveling). Wise philosophers whose wisdom is seemingly unconnected to mysticism are only displaying the activation of the subtleties of intelligence that pervade the potential of any humans psychic apparatus, but this alone is no complete path to truth according to mysticism, and rarely does contemplative philosophy, or cosmology produce enlightenment in itself. This is because philosophy is an attribute of intelligence not the other way around. Methodologically the only way to advance via these tools spiritually is by deep contemplation on there reality.

As for evolution, it does have a relationship with metaphysics, which will be explained later. But this not in the sense of evolution guiding mysticism, on the contrary, it is in a sense, that mysticism guides evolution, in that it will use any and every phenomena as a bridge to the real.

AQAL and Metaphysics

Wilber knows that if AQAL is going to have any reality it must have a methodological content that at least brings something novel to the game. But does it? And if it does, then does it work to enhance true mystical or spiritual progress for people who use and understand it, starting with Ken Wilber himself. Also beyond philosophy and general platitudes about Integral theory, what is Wilberism doing in reality methodologically, other than using metaphysical outward methods, attached to his socio-political philosophy attached to somewhat of his own version of Integral metaphysics?

What is wrong with that? Absolutely nothing. The object of this essay is only to remind Wilber and Wilberians that he should know his knowledge before teaching it, and not use people as guinea pigs for his “science”. And also that AQAL as stands now has not made the spiritual connection to the science of awakening or to metaphysics, in the opinion of this writer.

A true mystic is first a human being. This has to be, because if he is to evoke change by his method or insight, it must first be evoked in him. Only then can he legitimately have permissions by the higher law to teach others, and attempt to evoke similar change in them. This is the most important thing in this field, whether ones cosmological insights can be transferred to a methodology of action to make people go from point a to point b, and not just be indulging in redundant delusional “faith” pursuits that never change anyone. This is the defining principle of genuine mysticism that must be separated from the morbid faith groups that inculcate each other in “truth” by brainwashing each other by indoctrination of some theory of the universe.

Every true sage has the challenge of transforming his insights in cosmology and philosophy into metaphysics; but the criteria of his permissions to teach are solely based on his experience of alchemy in relationship to his insight of the universe and the transformation it brings in him as an individual. Only then can he communicate this to others for he has tasted his own knowledge as a tool of change. In other words he knows his own knowledge; completely and thoroughly experientially. If he doesn’t have this experience then he should remain a philosopher and cosmologist or theorist, in order to safeguard his integrity, and not end up a source of misguidance to others as well as to himself.

If one ventures out into the world of teaching without this vital element then he exposes himself to spiritual dangers all motivated by the age-old human frailties of vanity, impatience and a lack of compassion for his fellow. For to teach or potentially misguide people for the above reasons demonstrates a lack of love and compassion for others. Would any of us want to be a source of misguidance to others, because we are serving our vanity rather than serving god or humanity? I think not if we are in a right mind.

All of this is said to emphasis that the challenge of the genuine mystic who is at the edge of a paradigm shift is so daunting, in the mostly futile attempt to merge his gnosis with that of the intent of the divine, that the seriousness, difficulty, and rarity of its success can’t be emphasized too much. To be annihilated in the truth is to understand that you become a bystander:

“God {truth] has no partners” “he is above need of the worlds”

AQAL makes a claim to be relevant to metaphysics, but has yet to make a realistic road map of it in my view, as relative to the individual students mystical traveling: There is no connection between this theory and metaphysics at all. That’s fine as far as cosmology is concerned, or philosophy, that’s really not the obligation of an objective cosmologist, or philosopher. Ones obligation in this regard is merely to offer the knowledge to the community as understood by him. It seems that Mr. Wilber realizes this himself to some degree, for unlike his buddy Andrew Cohen, describes himself not as a teacher, but a Pandit. Even though Mr. Wilber the Pandit- not teacher, has enacted some mechanism that presumably he himself has a great input in, that chooses teachers for his I-I members..

Mr. Wilber at this time did not have to correlate these two things AQAL and Metaphysics at all.. It is a cosmological theory: a description of the universe as it is according to him. It might be a possibility that it can be transformed to a metaphysical transformative vehicle, as it probably will, or as it is by the Wilberian Integralists, something I believe is premature and not justified. It is premature if Wilber himself hasn’t experienced its alchemy, and is unjustified if it doesn’t exist.

Ironically Wilber will say he doesn’t relate AQAL to metaphysics, (that’s why I created “post metaphysics) as I claim he is doing. Certainly he is not naïve enough to do this directly but the way he does it amounts to this. Again he does this through the concept he has developed through AQAL of the lines, levels, states and stages aspect of it, which repeated, and made habitual will eventually lead to high consciousness and eventually enlightenment. This though is only going to happen as a result of perfect metaphysical practice, not AQAL or a concentration on the natural developmental physical laws in mans psyche that Wilber’s AQAL includes.

If Wilber just had to do this, then he should have been able to elucidate precisely what LOD’S or what in AQAL particularly relates to metaphysics and the science of enlightenment.

Wilber:

“This is why it is also important to sharply differentiate a postmetaphysical spirituality from the perennial philosophy, which is why I have not identified myself with the perennial philosophy in over fifteen years. Some of its conclusions are of course important and demand the utmost respect--but only if they can be reconstructed using good, broad science and reconstructive science. [11] I have repeated the necessity for this postmetaphysical and critical approach in several recent books, including SES and Integral Psychology . For those who have not read some of this material, I have included several endnotes from Integral Psychology in Appendix 1 following this article.”

This is with all due respect a strange statement that demonstrates Wilber’s neglecting not only metaphysics, but occult realities that lie far beyond anything science has of yet produced or understand or will ever likely understand.

Asking metaphysics to do this is like asking a physicist to explain physics to a 2 year older, and when he predicatively fails, he’s told by the scholars:” well then you better reconstruct your science so we all, even this toddler can partake of your truth.”

The biggest flaw in this aspect of Wilber’s theory is its lack of considering a very important element in spiritual science that your average occultist would consider: that is dimensionality. This is the aspect that the metaphysics- after physics- again is useful for, and all the symmetrical non experiential maps Wilber or any other post-modern intellectual philosopher-mystics could draw- could not map, understand, inter-dimensional travel one of the fundamental capacities of the genuine sage.

I believe that if Wilber could have found a way to integrate his insights with what I would call not metaphysics, but spiritual cosmology, or philosophy then the natural law of use, and change would have taken its form and his ideas could have settled on the community in a more positive reflection of his truths. Or one must be patient and hope and seek the knowledge that connects cosmology to metaphysics

People have to understand this: metaphysics is not spirituality or cosmology, it certainly includes these things, in it, but it is outside of these phenomenon.

As for Ken Wilber and his spiritual attainments, something I certainly have to admit I am to a degree judging in this essay [something every critical thinker has a right to do]

Far be it for me though to question a man spiritual attainments, as if I am some kind of Pharisee or judge, but to more or less force feed a group of sincere aspirants with a theory accrued to Integral philosophy as well as metaphysics- from the back door- and without a firm grounding in the knowledge as a certain guide to internal alchemy is a questionable tactic, and I can only hope that Mr. Wilber will at least maintain a moderation of intent that will render the potential spiritual harm of premature metaphysical endeavor impotent. For Mr. Wilber must know that he is influencing real human beings with sincere desires to be successful in this difficult area of spiritual psychology. It is to them that I write this treatise for, as well as for Mr. Wilber in the hope that he may alter his path somewhat. Certainly I am not claiming at all that these people are in any kind of spiritual or psychic danger, in following Wilberism, but we must in assessing truth take in to consideration all the possibilities, pros, and cons, of error as we see it.

It is no doubt in my mind that Ken Wilber is truly material to be an outstanding sage; Though I think that he should draw back a bit because his spiritual power and light may be so intense that it has in my view gotten ahead of him. Recalling my earlier reference to the puzzle being put together by molding the pieces to fit prematurely in places they weren’t designed to go in. This is what happened in my view to Ken and it is a common error in this path. But again if Wilber can back off a little, and moderate his spiritual light, or balance it a bit, I believe he will become a sage, and be given a new puzzle that his sobriety will enable him to put the puzzle pieces where they truly belong so he can ultimately perfect his map and give to the world a great comprehensive, accurate spiritual map of the Cosmos that will assist in brining his students to completion and full awakening.

Integral Spirituality

As mentioned above Wilber needs a methodological base to his program, and he has chosen” Integral spirituality” or his version of the Integral philosophical, and spiritual milieu that he has devised out of the merging of AQAL- his new-age version of metaphysics; and his political views that revolve around the Wilberian concept espoused in Boomeritus: Wilber’s tale of the decadent, Liberal environment that he accrues to his version of Spiral Dynamics epitomized in the concept of the mean green meme.

Wilberism does have a legitimate spiritual aspect to it therefore any criticism of it must be balanced by the fact that he does inspire his students to a spiritual path despite the AQAL imposition, and the political intrusions masked as science. This could be harmless if left in its true field of being- that is philosophy, and not taken out of that context to become another indoctrination cult, or coercive agency.) I personally don’t think such a negative description is the case at this point. It is not in Ken Wilber’s nature I don’t believe to do anything like that. But Integral Spirituality is imprinted with the errors I enumerated above, primarily the correlation of AQAL with metaphysics. The evolutionary concept, albeit incorrect in my view, at least is a legitimate school of spiritual thought.

Reading Wilber’s Integral Spirituality, makes it clear that Wilber does think that AQAL is a legitimate metaphysical tool of some sort, and as mentioned above the LINES, STATES, AND STAGES is his attempt to connect AQAL with metaphysics. I won’t repeat the same arguments above about this, but will only say that Wilber has in my view a while to go before he could do this and that is clear by reading Integral Spirituality. And if he does do this it must be beyond the theoretical to have any substantial contribution to the spirit. I have not at all concluded that Wilber or one of his students can never do this, although I believe that he has used a questionable theoretical basis for Integral Spirituality that may preclude success.

From Integral Spirituality, Pg 38 para 2, 3.

“Here’s the point: you can sit at your meditation mat for decades and you will NEVER see anything resembling the stages of Spiral Dynamics. And you can study Spiral Dynamics until the cows come home, and you will NEVER have a satori. And the integral point is, if you don’t include both, you will likely never understand human beings or their relation to Reality, divine or otherwise

Meditative understanding involves preeminently a methodology of looking at the “I” from the inside (using phenomenology); Spiral Dynamics involves studying it from the outside (using structuralism). Both of them are studying a person’s consciousness, but they are very different things because they are inhabiting a different stance or perspective, using different methodologies. Further, a person could be quite advanced in one, and not in the other, or vice versa, and there is no way to tell using either of their yardsticks; they can’t each see each other.”

This dichotomy described above is incorrect because Spiral Dynamics involves a “we” not an “I” as Wilber’s formulae says. Also the statement studying a person’s consciousness is also incorrect because SD is a we phenomena not “person’s consciousness”

This Philosophical sloppiness by Wilber here is indicative of his rushing to “truth” rather than him finding truth on its terms, this is the puzzle pieces being carved up again by Ken Wilber to fit his distorted puzzle he creates, that then requires his distorted puzzle pieces to fill in the blanks.

He is ramming this sloppy philosophical thinking with not an iota of metaphysical or cosmological relevance or truth down the throats of people who can’t even judge the veracity, philosophical sloppiness, and metaphysical errors of Wilber’s assertions in Integral Spirituality as the above illustrates.

All these well paid, well fed “ Lineage masters” running around Ken Wilber while he spreads these strange ideas aught to be called to task, and if they are unable to, educate Wilber on these things then they are not a legitimate lineage master of any repute. But of course these people will then no longer be well paid anymore, IF THEY CORRECT HIM! Will they?

Anyway, that aside:

A few rhetorical questions, first: what makes Wilber think that one who meditates doesn’t bring his life experience to the meditation mat thereby able to perceive any phenomena outside of this “I” of his.

Or what makes him think that the only method of “meditation” used is his version?

Additionally satori, enlightenment can certainly happen through the contemplation of Spiral dynamic phenomena. It is the intensity of the concentration that brings results not the phenomena itself. In fact the contemplation of ANY phenomena can cause satori, or enlightenment! These statements of Wilber’s seem to be one dimensional observations leaving out myriad levels of reality relative to his phenomenal examples, thereby making his conclusions questionable.

And old wine new bottle

Wilber’s terminology of post metaphysics is somewhat misleading. He and many philosophers have always made the same mistake in associating these accretions of epistemology, and ontology to metaphysics. This has always been known as Buddha said many times, that these abstruse additions have nothing to give to the path.

This knowledge Wilber pretends he is presenting as a new insight is deceptive on his part. It is not a new insight. It may be a new insight to him, but it is certainly not to the world.

“Metaphysics” is certainly a term that has all kinds of levels of meaning, and I contend that the colloquial meaning I offer as a means of understanding it as a spiritual science or the basic term that elucidates the spiritual sciences is the most valid because it gives it its classical meaning apart from the philosophical additions to its essence. Wilber has created a straw man in this regard and on the other hand has somewhat-probably unconsciously- stolen and taken a concept long understood in traditional metaphysics and has repackaged it as his own ideas. This in addition to his lack of understanding of metaphysical and occult realities, as well as his lack of understanding of dimensional realities, as well as his limited, and highly incomplete understanding of the process of awakening adds to the bleak nebulous confusion in his overall philosophy.

The over indulgence of philosophical additions to metaphysics has always been a problem particularly with western thought. It has added too much confusion to classical metaphysics, and Wilber pointing this out is old hat. These have always been peripheral commentaries on the primarily mystical teaching masters who eschewed these impositions and interpretations of their’ ideas. Wilber is inheriting these abstruse commentaries, but is disingenuously playing somewhat of a double game by now claiming mystic purity from his philosopher friends who were never really involved with the essence of traditional metaphysics. So now we have post-metaphysics. As if Buddha was not the founder of this, no Ken Wilber 2500 years later, has convinced himself that he has discovered this! This is an intellectual tragedy and borders on intellectual, or as you may- spiritual property theft.

Enlightenment

Wilber’s dissertation on enlightenment in Integral Spirituality is filled with strange notions in my view, mistakes, and misinformation. One wonders with all due respect where Ken Wilber ever got his training in mysticism, or whether he is really interested in the cause of the spiritual paths, and not after some other agenda.

This idea of evolutionary enlightenment that carves up the concept based on the age old non-mystic understanding of evolution not as a spiritual phenomena but as phenomena itself, with no connection to enlightenment at all. Wilber will only find these theories in western texts of modernist, and post modernists philosophers influence wholly by the western idea attaching” evolution” to enlightenment, and other additions to the mystic idea.

Enlightenment is involved with perception, not at all some kind of abstract physical perspective as he suggests - or relative to form, evolution or phenomena. This perception is based solely on the configuration of the structures of the “soul” [Ataman] something he knows nothing about! Therefore there is no conflict between evolving form evolution, and enlightenment. Wilber’s confusion with the” non-duel” and form is all a smokescreen for his lack of experience in genuine mysticism, that he covers up with abstruse scientism.

Enlightenment is about seeing beyond form, SEEING, PERCIEVING the reality behind it, as a constant unchanging, not unfolding of being (phenomenon) but a reality of being and non-being. This perception is perfect and unchanging in theory according to mysticism because it is based on the perfect spiritual or energetic configuration of the soul [Atman]. Thus non-dual is an attribute of enlightenment not the end and be all of it. Therefore evolution is incidental to this perception. Evolution is NON absolute, these forms could evolve a million different ways, and true perception of reality, or enlightenment would be the same. It is not in ANY WAY BASED ON EVOLUTION, GUIDED by evolution, only in the strict sense of superficial linear history something that the perception of reality as it becomes real refutes unequivocally.

Reality (god) is not guided by evolution; it is the other way around. Wilber will find no legitimate sage suggesting any such thing.

The concept of the holistic self or what might roughly correspond to the Wilber concept of the Holon appears to evolve but only in linear perception at enlightenment this fades away like ice in the sun.

Wilber is correct in one thing, evolution does relate to form, but this evolution is predestined by the very law of scientism he refutes when he says this evolution is chaotic and based on “cosmic habits” not the science of cause and effect.

Wilber says the great wisdom traditions did not know about evolution. Does the quote above by Jalaludin Rumi in the 14THcentury count? Where does Wilber concoct this stuff from? Buddha said the only thing constant is change, that’s evolution. The Hindu scriptures also explicitly talks about evolution, The Koran mentions evolution, as well as the Bible, so what in the world is Wilber talking about?

On the wisdom traditions IN Integral Spirituality he says about the wisdom traditions:

“They didn’t know the world of form was evolving”

WHAT WISDOM TRADITIONS IS HE REFERRING TO?

Wilber’s “cosmic habits”

Wilber rejects archetypes in Wilber 5 so his cosmic habits are based on thin air, not reality, as if the most external phenomenon have no spiritual or energetic basis psychic reality behind them, just some odd phenomena he calls a “cosmic habit” that obviously is based on random chaos that Wilber obviously borrowed from some other evolutionary thinker who relies on biological evolutionary principles to concoct this idea.

“Enlightenment is the realization of oneness with all states and all structures that are in existence at any given time”
Wilber

So he unequivocally basis his theory of enlightenment on EVOLUTION. He does this through his ideas about form vs. non-duel emptiness. Emptiness he says is one side of enlightenment, but one with evolving form is the other side, this side though is based on evolution, since it is only form that evolves.

Wilber’s gross error here is his misunderstanding of enlightenment. It is essentially a passive phenomena, in the sense that it is based on the absence of something not the acquisition of something, in Wilber’s case these LOD’S, STATES, AND STAGES- becoming one with. These states and stages in reality can be likened to the sex drive. One doesn’t have to formally engage any child in how to develop and use the sex drive, it will- based on chemistry and physical development come into being when it pleases. This is all creative development not mystical or metaphysical. All one will get from this idea is a developed mind and body, whose development can never be perfect because the very nature of the world, that Wilber knows nothing about is not based on perfection, why does he think Buddha taught as well as the Sufis, to never base anything metaphysical on phenomena of this world. The nature of it is elliptical, and imperfect.

All this without any remote understanding by him how one acquires these stages. His only assertion along these lines is his “cosmic habits” which by the way are based on nothing energetic, structural, OR SCIENTIFIC just chaos I guess according to Wilber.

The Prophet Muhammad, one of the greatest metaphysician of all times, said: All phenomena is predestined:

My words: it is not based on anything but the science of cause and effect whose result is naturally inaccessible to man unless he knows the interaction of the constituents that make up any interactive phenomenon that contains more than one essence. This directly refutes Wilber’s notion of cosmic habits, having any basis in reality.

The evolutionary relationship with metaphysics

Wilber and his friend Andrew Cohen are spreading an absolute misleading concept concerning this “evolutionary enlightenment. It does have great poetic use, but beyond that semantic reality, there is nothing metaphysical in evolution. Enlightenment is beyond evolution and form. But what is within form, and is truly evolutionary is intelligence! Not Enlightenment. They are very different.

The intelligence that understands the nature of changing phenomena in a form is evolutionary because it is based on the theory of understanding phenomenon in relationship to time and place, but this knowledge is not in itself transcendent, it is local wisdom, or phenomenal knowledge. That’s why all spiritual paths are different and will always be different in this world, because “god” or the intelligence behind spiritual guidance is intelligent and aware of time and place phenomena as well as the different cultural and epochal needs of people. Indeed you will never see this intelligence, only the lower intelligence of the Taliban- like fundamentalist worrying about the purity of the faith. This intelligence transcends that ignorance certainly, but only has an indirect relationship with enlightenment in that this is primarily exoteric intelligence. This intelligence only responsibility is to maintain there integrity of the intelligence over time, not maintain the form of the epochal intelligent metaphysical guidance that indeed shifts over time. ALL metaphysical systems understand this concept, and live by it. The Avatar concept in Hinduism, the Prophets in western spiritualism, the Buddha in Buddhism all demonstrate this. But on an esoteric level one can see the direct relationship of say Buddhism with Islam, or Sufism, which has it’s timeless reality from the surah al Falaq in the Koran and the three vows of the Buddhist on initiation. They both are calling on the same spiritual intelligences that transcends the evolutionary intelligence of the exoteric law.

Al Nas
The Men

I seek the refuge of The Lord of Men
The King of Men
The God of Men

The Refuge in the Three Jewels of Buddhism

The Buddha
The Darhma
The Sangha

Another literally direct correspondence with Muhammad and Buddha esoterically is the 7 Samadhi states of Buddha and the miraj of Muhammad in traveling the 7 heavens.

An example of the exoteric aspect of this principle is that”‘ God” would never abolish slavery directly until man himself understood that- accepted that this was unregenerate activity. We do evolve to things like this. Something the crass literalist does not understand. That murder for instance was a “sin” had long past been accepted by man conceptually, thereby allowing “god” to instill the law of “thou shalt not murder”

This is all evolutionary certainly, but none of this is esoteric, it is all exoteric and therefore has nothing directly to do with enlightenment.

The culture of the Integral Institute

To take a second look at the application of AQAL and the evolutionary theoretical ideas accrued to Integral Spirituality is what I am suggesting here the Integral Institute and their chief theorist Ken Wilber consider. A while back when I first made contact with the Integral Institute, I recall being very impressed by their inclusiveness and non-sectarian practices. This seemed wholesome and genuine, but once I encountered what I considered strange, to say the least, ideas like the smug MGM notions, ideas of hierarchy, the arcane, AQAL, as well as naive notions of “evolution” spouted by the Integralists as dogma. I began to wonder whether these people were as intelligent as they outwardly seemed.

But as the reality that often times, if not all the time, emotion swamps the intellect, particularly when we have obvious hidden emotional appeals in the I-I philosophy.

Now certainly any culture of ideas will eventually incorporate the general positive-negative archetypes, that always come in different guises often times political in nature that the human personality feeds off, some created by them, or the leader, as in this case, Wilber. Nevertheless this is no excuse for ideas that are alien to mysticism to be supported by people who are supposedly metaphysical. True mysticism does not incorporate non metaphysical ideas because it is human nature. Certainly all people outside of any metaphysical training will adopt political and culturally peripheral attitudes about things in the world that will be anathema to the mystic ethic, but for this to come out of the mystical milieu itself, is extremely problematic. I contend directly that Wilberism has fostered these type attitudes originating out of the Integral Institute, and from their vaunted leader. Ironically these political shades from an organization that allegedly eschews politics, can every chance It gets denounce some mean green meme but cant find the means to address politics when considering the denunciation of the Iraq war something the Integral Institute refuses to do, or more precisely Ken Wilber refuses to do, because it wouldn’t be integral!. If that’s the case then if I-I were around during World War II would I-I not denounce Hitler because it wouldn’t be Integral also; because Churchill had colonies all over the world, and was doing the same things to his colonies that Hitler wanted to do to the rest of the western world?

Integral Spirituality or the Integral Institute and its program are not truly metaphysical at this point. It is somewhat of a stew of Wilber’s cosmological, socio-political, and spiritual philosophy amalgamated to a crew of new-age and some not new age teachers and teachings that are specifically chosen apparently on the basis of their allegiance to non sectarian religion, and their version of Integral philosophy. They have adapted the methodology of the current crew of spirituals that exist in the metaphysical community, as well as practices that mimic positive thinking groups that offer high priced, slickly packaged material in cd’s, books, and other formats to its students, as well as high priced seminars, retreats that include Wilber’s chosen crew of teachers offering the students their version of a spiritual path, mixed with the Wilberian Integral school of thought of the Integral Institute. Mixed in this stew are also non religious or quasi- religious people, positive thinking new age gurus, and current social political movements, as well as art, popular cinema, music and entertainment figures who round out the Integral Institutes culture.

This certainly makes for an interesting group of non-sectarian modernists evolving around the personality and shifting ideas of Wilber, and provide the usual group think, and identity consciousness that all similar groups give to their adherents, but all this I contend does not add up to anything metaphysical, only in appearance does it resemble it.

Why is this so?

First

The teachers are a too broad a mix to offer people who want substance, not quick synopsis of a school of thought, or brief exposure to the exercises of a particular group. It is difficult enough absorbing a particular mystical doctrine, such as Kabala, Vedanta, or Zen on its own but to place a stew of mystical ideas that may include the exoteric, as well as esoteric, secular, and spiritual is too much for any individual too absorb. Any real substance from this program is doubtful to occur.

That is not to criticize the worthy Integral concept of a non-sectarian environment, but the inclusion of so many different shades of the truth may be challenging to anyone hoping to absorb any substantial content out of anyone of them. One might say, well then a person chooses their school of thought they wish to pursue and that’s it. Well if that’s the case, then what does anyone need with Integral spirituality?

Secondly, mysticism is based to a substantial degree on the teacher in most instances, and his spiritual attainments, with the explicit idea that he or she has arrived at truth and is able to help others do the same. There are very serious occult realities in the teacher student relationship that have to do with transference that this capacity of the teacher must exist for a student, that is a legitimate teacher. For Integral to maintain a spiritual environment outwardly, and not have a clearly defined and explicit teacher whom presumably has trod the path to its final destination- awakening- is wrong and does injustice to the students.

In today’s challenging spiritual environment it is difficult enough wading through ones heart and mind whether their chosen teacher is legitimate or not, and not Dracula incarnate ready to swoop down one fine evening and drink the blood of the aspirant, or some similar grotesque activity many of these so called, awakened Gurus have been known to indulge in, but at least these groups have a clearly defined teacher/student structure.

Thirdly

The Integral concept in I-I is a murky philosophy that is in a sense offering up to the world, a new language, as well as somewhat of a new religion, defined by Ken Wilber, and his closest students, and doesn’t have the goods yet in my view that this program will awaken the practitioners of Integral. When I say goods I really mean that they don’t even make the suggestion that this program leads to full enlightenment, allegedly the goal of esoteric mysticism. This is another questionable practice that doesn’t clearly define itself, or its intent other than a modern version of Integration that will make one- a better human being. However lofty this appears, and it can have value in itself, it is not in the least metaphysical, perhaps it is post-metaphysical, but if it is, there is no doubt that there have been, and is today, similar groups with a similar methodology that are “post metaphysical. In today’s post modern environment there are numerous social, self-help, feel good groups outside of formal metaphysics that are perfectly capable to fulfill the needs of people in that regard, does a supposed spiritual organization like I-I need to do these things? Then the question becomes: is I-I a spiritual organization, or does it claim to be one? Is it a think tank? Is it some ones experiment? Does it have hidden political agendas, along the neo-con lines? These are questions that need to be explicitly answered by Ken Wilber and the Integral Institute.

And if their claim is that, no, we are not a spiritual or metaphysical organization. Then what is Ken Wilber doing offering people, Zen, mystic Christianity, Kabala, yoga, because I-I is an athletic organization?

One can’t have their cake and eat it too. Sure people can have any watered down, superficial version of metaphysics they choose, but is this doing justice to the students. Are not they entitled to what many of them are griping about now- transparency, or just some good old honesty and direction from this institution? Or A CHANCE AT REAL ENLIGHTENMENT.

Some have speculated that I-I may go cultic. My brief exposure to the independent thinking people at Integral Naked tells me there is nothing to that idea. Wilber is not raising a group of ignorant fools. The liberal, relaxed atmosphere to me isn’t conducive to becoming any kind of coercive agency. In fact they appear to be very independent, intelligent, people who would be the last kinds of people to be in a cult Nevertheless these people are being neglectful to their own selves by not examining closely the I-I program, and Ken Wilber, and looking at it objectively, rather than obsessively or devotionally. The fact is that they are most likely attached to Wilber out of a displaced emotional reason. In the end for these followers who want real metaphysics the experience with Wilberism will most likely prove to be a colossal waste of time for them.

I have avoided directly critiquing Wilber’s ideas comprehensively, in terms of the cosmological veracity of AQAL; this is not what this treatise is about; it is about Wilberism as relates to metaphysics. Many fine essays, pro and con have dealt with his ideas as they stand alone. It only needs to be understood clearly that there is a great distance n my opinion between classical genuine metaphysics and the ideas of Ken Wilber’s AQAL and the Integral Institute as they stand presently.

It is a positive thing that Wilber does to a great degree guide his students to somewhat traditional schools of thought, or metaphysics

Finally

The fact that Integral Institute as it stands now, is not a metaphysical organization does not have to detract from the potential for it to have a positive impact on society if it stays clear of cultic activity. The inclusiveness, non-sectarian and unity based structure of Wilber’s Integral Institute is a fine example of humans trying to harness the lower soul and complement the greater angels of their nature. This can if Wilber controls himself be a useful environment for some in terms of their psychological balance, maybe. As for its present lack of a guiding sage there is a practice in metaphysical tradition that allows for many to come together and do mystical practices, study, share, meditate and hope that a sage will be either produced from the environment of the community, or be attracted to it and thereby giving the community a qualified teacher who would offer the hope of genuine guidance to them.

We can only hope for the best for the good people of Integral Institute

ANNOTATION:

The Integral philosophy

I’m not an expert on the Integral philosophy, and make no claims at any expertise in its history or current environment. But after thirty plus years of quietly, and sometimes intensely studying the doctrines of Sufism, Zen, Kabala, Buddhism, Tao, Gnosticism, Theosophy, Yoga, Vedanta, and particularly studying the works, of Ibn Arabi, Rumi, Al Ghazali, modern Sufis, like Idries Shah, Javad Nurbaksh, Inyat Khan, Lex Hixon, Hindu sages like Deepak Chopra, Gopi Krishna, as well as earlier teachers like the redoubtable Pantajali, Mansur Hallaj, Gurjeff, Madame Blavatsky, and a practicing Sufi in association with 4 orders, initiated in two and a founder of a school of thought of my own, I think I can give an intelligent appraisal of this area of thought.

This formidable idea of Integral philosophy is one of the most positive, hopeful ideas that I have ever approached. Coming somewhat out of a non sectarian environment for me it was love at first site. For my personal creed in life has always been, that indeed all people have a part of the truth, and if we can foster amongst ourselves genuine honesty, and objectivity in the search for truth, and the suppression of ego we can not fail as a species in finding our ultimate salvation as a unified non-dual environment. But we must be ever so vigilante in shaping this mentality.

It is a fact that the integral philosophy including Wilberian Integral can be a strong and preeminent philosophy producing the paradigm shift in human awareness and unity we all are hoping for. This is possible only if it remains true to its own insight into human nature and never become associated with coercive institutions or sectarian philosophies.

It will be difficult but not impossible to remain true to the notion that the many paths that exist are only reflections of the different natures of reality- that are existential, and that diverse approaches does not have to be indicative of conflict but signs of the multiplicity of the human reflection of beauty in human nature and essence.

The problem with remaining true is a difficult one: It has to do with the fact that there are systems of so-called spirituality that have become degenerate and counter productive to human progress. Therefore it seems that any group that wants to be free from non-progressive or in Integral language- non-evolutionary thinking- must establish and maintain a vigilant discrimitive capacity to shun ideas that reflect anti-human and counter evolutionary thought. Now this on its face can be difficult because the essence of the inclusive seems to be that all ideas have merit and should be included in the endeavor of change. Of course insightful people in the Integral movement know better than that and I am sure understand the fact that as long as human nature reflects any degree of duality then there will be ideas and systems that are counterproductive to human progress. So it is obvious that sooner or later this grand idea of integral philosophy will encounter conflicts with emerging new ideas and old ideas that may be in conflict with its understanding of what is beneficial and useful for human awakening. I think this is the challenge of the integral movement because one day it can easily be enticed- because there are degenerate systems and new systems with various degrees of verisimilitude- in becoming too insular because of this. In other words choices will have to be made and discrimitive judgment will be exercised, for Integral is somewhat like the concept of freedom, as there is no such thing as unlimited freedom, there is also no such thing as unlimited inclusion.

In a nut shell, one wonders, who determines in any integral organization what is appropriate in this world of myriad ideas, philosophies, religions, schools of thought, a virtual tower of Babel that puts Nimrod to shame comparatively. Participating in the Integral Naked forum someone posted that they would leave the forum soon if certain people are not included in the teachers group. In fact it seems to me that if some of those people he mentioned are included indeed many will leave, not at their exclusion, but at there inclusion!

So what are the thinkers running these Integral groups to do when the inevitable happens?

To digress a second in order to flesh out this point. It may be a fact that some Integral groups have already (secretly “sold its soul to the devil” more or less and have behind the scenes instilled a discrimitive coercive hierarchy or it’s opposite, a virtual cesspool of weird and unintegrated ideas brought together just for appearance, and spiritual correctness with no substance. Or has some of the groups degenerated to indulging in the usual hierarchical maneuvers to maintain itself. If this be the case, then it would be nothing surprising in view of human nature. For the sake of argument though we are all assuming this is not the case at this point in most Integral organizations, at least I think we all are assuming this. Be that as it may then when the situation comes up (lf it has not already) I wonder what will happen? It reminds me of one post in Integral Naked Forum that spoke of the fact that Wilber seems to leave out of his stew of approved systems what has come to be known as WESTERN OCCULT MYSTICISM i.e. Blavatsky, Bailey, Steiner, Theosophy, and the like; I hasten to add the character as controversial as the renown “black” magician Aleister Crowley in this bunch, but considering Crowley’s impact on western thought how could one not include him in this lot? Boy oh boy some might feel a guy like Mr. Crowley would be the devils perfect tool to bring the walls of the Integral Jericho tumbling down, before it even got built.

Anyway, so what am I saying here, what is my point? Very simple: for this to be a genuine movement for universal change, unity, understanding, and a quest for human fulfillment it must become and maintain itself as an organization that revolves around the principles of human progress, freedom, and truth and that the only things not included in its center of gravity are the opposites of these principles: human stagnation, slavery, and ignorance. This must not become a movement of pedestrian institutionalized hierarchies of elitism that eventually only exists to maintain itself and not as a nutrient for human development. The very essence it seems to me of a notion of inclusion and integration is not that everything is included per se at the center of gravity, but that everything is to be understood and examined by the right of its existence. And what should be included at the center of gravity (systems of beliefs and ideas) are modes that adhere on all levels to the principles mentioned above. So essentially the challenge for this integral idea to (I hate to put it this way) maintain its purity is imperative to being successful in giving people looking for- truth, healing, knowledge, understanding, and transcendent wisdom in which to evoke change and fulfillment in their lives- an outlet for genuine expression that may enable then to experience some degree of real fulfillment.

As concerning some of the presently accepted paradigms of the Integral idea that springs back to Sri Aorobindo and through Jean Gebser, some of these notions, particularly about evolution and structures of consciousness, I have serious problems with, (and frankly don’t think they reflect these two individuals’ ideas in their original at all), and doubt their reality. But in the Integral milieu it may become a problem such as the Wilberian phenomena when too closely this idea becomes attached to doctrines, and veer off of the essential beauty of the concept, that is the unity of man, and the integrated search for truth. If this is not adhered to the possibility that this will undoubtedly lead to a circular process where the idea of the spirit of Integral will be sidetracked by dogmatic rumblings from all kinds of fronts that will render null and void the nutrient that the concept of unity provides outside of cosmological or spiritual speculations.

Will there soon be in this Integral movement, a Sunni group, and a Shia group hurling insults at each other claiming they are the orthodox Integrals, not this or that guy. And when this does happen, who could say this is illegitimate, albeit unfortunate, since anyone has the right in our western system of freedom of thought, to zero in on something they think is in error. Perhaps this is inevitable, for certainly it has to some degree already happened, that’s why in my estimation the strength in this philosophy is not in its theoretical and active philosophies but in its potential to be a driving force in unifying the intentions of humans behind the objective search for truth collectively to a degree unlike anytime in history. In other words its methodological premise. But this has to be legitimate, and based on truth and Integrity because if it isn’t it immediately defeats the concept. People must learn to put the best of their intentions at the foremost of their consciousness, not vanity and egotism; or better put as Ken Wilber says; bring out your highest self.

What is the meat of this notion? The meat is simply that Integral philosophy is a system or methodology of finding truth, not an end in itself, as dogmatic religious notions palparat. It is the environment where people actively withhold their notions of self to such a selfless degree that real truth finding becomes possible, in any field, at any time, because the participants in the quest hold truth to be above their ego’s.

Integral methodology is a methodology that attempts to arrive at objectivity, and then what we call an Integral judgment capacity is reached and at that point intelligent judgment can ensue

Integral may fail to become a true nutrient for change in the way humans approach each other. If it does just become another debating society of intellectual elitist flexing their knowledge behind the wise King Solomon’s age old aphorism:

“All is vanity”

If this be the case

Then maybe it’s back to the drawing board!





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