INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Publication dates of essays (month/year) can be found under "Essays".
Zakariyya 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.
The State of Integral
Philosophy & Science
Five years ago when I began my study of the modern Integral Spirituality and Science, it was a vibrant, dynamic collage of ideas, meeting the best of the east with the best of the western spiritual tradition of independent inquiry. Today it may become, or at best it is becoming, consumed by two western postmodern traditions that will inevitably consume Integral Spirituality into the morass of pedestrian thought where soon it will be an afterthought only spoken about in Wikipedia with other stillborn cults, and post-modern philosophies going nowhere.
The first tradition of postmodern thought that may consume it is the attempt to make it a religion by calling it some form of “Integral Spirituality” that borrows methodologies from various schools of thought and claiming that this will lead one to spiritual completion. All this done by hidden, and some not hidden “experts” with degrees in Metaphysics from one of the modern New Age universities that gives such degrees. Or the “Masters” in these organizations are as a Sufi Sheik describes it: There are two kinds of teachers in the world, one chosen by God [reality] and one chosen by the world. The world refers to those “teachers” who by acclamation of their cultic followers, or the fact that they have published a series of popular books, gives then the credentials to teach spirituality!
Integral Spirituality may become a series of methodologies invoking some kind of authority inherent in the “Integral Spirituality” being purported as a teaching apparatus. But the defacto reality is that this is a religion. A religion without authority is still a religion. I am not against this, per se, but it is clear that this should be spelled out to students, in my view.
Also the challenges in metaphysical realities don’t stop because one calls something what it is not: [The blind leading the blind syndrome]. In other words the dangers of metaphysical practices by amateurs done on ignorant people won’t stop the psychological harm done on people who are unaware of these subtle realities, and come under the guidance of a false teacher. When it comes to metaphysics – ignorance IS NOT bliss!
The other postmodern realm of thought refers to a movement that contends to merge science with Integral theory perpetuated by the so-called “Integral Scientist” who recently seems to have tried to intimidate Frank Visser with the letters after their names and virtually insulted the writers on this site with a very unscientific synopsis of the content of Integral World. The essay was written before the great vaunted Integral Conference [the epicenter of Integral scientism of today]. I waited for a refutation from one of the contributors to no avail, a sure sigh that the “Integral movement” of valiant independent erudite writers, and thinkers may have been equally intimidated by these alleged scientist with their PhD’s and degrees in Alternative and Cognitive Psychology. They indeed make a lot of noise, but unfortunately I haven’t seen much real science coming from them.
I for one wish to declare that although I respect people of letters, it seems to me that one should - if they are espousing scientism - once in a while turn up some real practical discoveries and not just try to impress with credentials and a lot of conferences.
I will also continue to put to the light of criticism the very philosophical foundation of the attempt to project Integral Spirituality, philosophy, and metaphysics from a “scientific realm” as if the appellation itself lends it credence. I have always contended with superficial philosophy straight forward, and have refuted its pedestrian notions on its own terms with clear language that nay of the vaunted thinkers have found it worthy to dispute. You may pretend all you like that your ignoring the direct challenges from writers like myself is based on your scientific esotericism, but believe me, we know it is based on your ignorance, or lack of ability to refute clear arguments.
The attempt by Ken Wilber to take his well earned Guru Hood off into the sunset of mystic scientism, where he can finally please his true god [acclimation from “science”] where his abstruse abstracts can somehow claim relevancy over mere eastern esotericism, will probably bury his Integral Spirituality in the laboratories, and conferences of alternative thinkers in universities. This will not likely germinate in any genuine Integral anything, since these universities primarily serve to bury true alternative ideas in their bureaucracy of stagnation.
Indeed, then Integral Science may be headed for the sterile textbooks of mediocrity that most Western science dies in, or at best it is headed for that same result into the think tanks of modernity that rarely produce anything dynamic, and are usually bought and paid for by political entities for use in military and intelligence circles.
When all the results of the “scientific mysticism” from the laboratories, where some so called monks want to whore their religion and methodology, ever produce any real practical science, and not the vagaries, and non sequiturs of Ken Wilber, then we will be glad to view their results.
But believe me, your results, while they may be able to gauge the brain waves of the monk in question; your machines will never see the vanity that drives a person to want to put themselves and their meditation capacity under your microscopes.
The problem with the post modern scientific mystics who want, or allege to want to merge science with spirituality must realize that ultimately the proof is in the pudding. The pudding is the fucked up world we live in, where we find it necessary, [this highly evolved modern creature - the modern human] to bomb children in the GAZA strip.
And that is the heritage of the postmodern man, and all his advanced science he wishes to merge with, without alas learning to merge, first, the human heart with the human soul, thereby finding it impossible to murder our own children!