Integral World Forum

The Integral movement
in social and
historical context

Integral Esotericism - Part Two

Alan Kazlev

2-i. Premodern, Secular Modernity, and the Integral Synthesis

Central to the Wilberian and much of the post-Wilberian paradigm is the idea of a series of historical stages; premodern to modern to postmodern to Integral. And although this understanding is, I believe, too simplistically linear to represent the complete truth, there is still a seed of truth in what is being said here. Historically and collectively, there does seem to be a transition in the non-religious aspect of the Western collective worldview from pre-secular to secular to a current broader movement

By pre-secular I mean the traditional Graeco-Christian-Medieval and then Renaissance worldview. Secular refers here to western enlightenment and modernity thinking and also the accompanying fundamentalist-literalist and/or a progressive-liberal Judaeo-Christian religionism out of which it developed, and which in turn develops alongside it, and a minority esoteric tradition (Theosophical-Hermetic etc) behind the scenes, a little of which filters through to the mass consciousness. Currently this old scientific-reductionistic plus Judaeo-Christian secular-religious synthesis is being supplemented (but not yet supplanted) by a broader perspective, inspired by mainstream adaptations of Eastern-adopted and New Age, including New Paradigm, "Integral", and Consciousness research) thinking, including popular (mis)interpretations of the "New Physics".

I see postmodernism as an umbrella term for various academic and artistic-cultural sub-currents of modernity[1]. In this case the series premodern to modern to postmodern to integral is in my opinion an insular academic idea which is much less relevant to wider society than media-driven social trends such as the "MTV generation", "reality TV", and so on.

One can however still speak of secular modernity (including "postmodernism" and other trends), religionism, esotericism, and the integral synthesis, with "premodern" as a wastebin categrory (by analogy with "waste-bin taxon" in biology and paleontology) for everything else.

2-ii. The "Premodern" worldview

Human knowledge as a series of isolated and specialised disciplines is a result both of the sheer complexity and detail of the modern world and the mundane physical reality as revealed through empirical knowledge and understanding, and the current absence of an esoteric "wisdom tradition" in academia (there are indeed profound esoteric teachings in the West - Hermeticism, Anthroposophy, etc, but these are not accepted and often not even known by the mainstream).

But traditional and pre-modern cultures and worldviews understood reality in a holistic way. Astronomy and astrology, alchemy and chemistry, myth and history, magic and science, were not differentiated, but part of a single all-encompassing vision of the cosmos. This type of worldview and intuitive as opposed to empirical methodology is still retained today in its exoteric (outer, and often literalist) form by traditional religions, in a more syncretic manner, by the Perennialist or Traditionalist movement, and by the modern New Age movement

According to Wilber, this "premodern" worldview represents an earlier stage in the history of human evolution, and hence in his holarchical view a more partial and incomplete understanding. I assert the exact opposite, that modern secular thinking is more incomplete, because it only understands a single reality (the external material), whereas premodern, traditional, and perennialist worldviews embrace many realities. This is not to deny the numerous facts and insights gained by western empirical method. So certainly the modern understanding of the external mundane reality in all its precision and detail is far far in advance of anything the ancients could ever dream of, and increasingly, seemingly exponentially, all the time. And certainly no integral paradigm or meta-paradigm can afford not to take this material into account. But this is quite distinct from the varuious supra-physical and inner physical realities. Our external mundane reality - including the vast observable cosmos with all its stars and galaxies, is just the tiniest tip of the iceberg (to borrow Freud's evocative metaphor). This is why it behooves us to respect what other cultures, traditions, and also for that matter western esoteric traditions and teachings, say.

Evolutionary philosophers such as Steiner, Julian Jaynes[2], and Wilber, make the error of assuming that because people in the olden days lived in a society which taught a mythological worldview, their consciousness was of a dream-like nature, they lived in the unconscious and and they couldn't think as we do. This fallacy can be easily disproved by talking to anyone from a premodern culture; it can be seen that they are just as rational as a modern person. Conversely there are many modern westerners who are just as irrational as a premodern (consider Fundamentalist Evangelism).

Gebser presents evidence to show that what is here called the premodern actually includes three distinct stages or historical structures or mutations of consciousness: the Archaic, the Magical, and the Mythic. (In contrast to later developments such as Wilber's early evolutionary psychology (beginning with Up From Eden) and Wilber and Beck's interpretation of Clare Grave's Spiral Dynamics (A Theory of Everything), Gebser did not see these as evolutionary developmental stages.)

But one could equally, or even more appropriately I believe, interpret these structures as being parallel perspectives of consciousness equivalent to the different chakras, say, in that anyone can access all these stages. Of course, a great deal of this is enforced and reinforced by the collective culture and mindset, and this is what Gebser seems to be describing.

2-iii Secular Modernity

Secular and materialistic developments, and hence the loss of the sense of the sacred and the rise of dualism and materialism, can be traced back to classical Greek (beginning with the birth of Western rationalism with the Ionian philosophers and the other presocratics), Chinese (as explained in Jacob Needham's monumental Science and Civilization in China), and other cultures, and to Medieval nominalism and scholasticism (the rejection of Plato in favour of Aristotle). Additional impetus was provided by the rise of Western scientific method (Galileo, Francis Bacon), and of course the "modern" Western worldview that developed with the rise of science and rationality and the "Enlightenment" of 18th century European philosophy and society. As Max Weber, Rudolph Steiner, and Jürgen Habermas and, following him, Wilber, have all in different ways shown, the rise of rational thought brought about the end of the old premodern, mythological worldview and its replacement with an understanding of discrete scientific (objective), a social (inter-subjective), and a psychological and spiritual (subjective) realities, thus allowing the development of these separate fields and of modern society. (Also included in the sphere of religion/spiritual/subjective would be traditional pop gurus; intermediate zone[3] pop gurus, etc).

What the Enlightenment Age represented was a change, an evolution of the collective worldview; not the individual consciousness, but the collective consciousness. It was a movement from a more mythic and intuitive collective worldview, to a more rationalistic, mechanistic, and "ahrimanic" pone . This meant that people, who had previously used their rational minds to understand the mythological world, could now use their rational minds to understand the natural, social, and religious and psychological; worlds. This led to the development and specialisation of knowledge, such as we see today.

It also led to the loss of the sense of a sacred or transcendent dimension, and the retention only of the secular. This takes as its authority scientism and the scientism-based physicalist worldview which forms the basis of the worldview or creation narrative of modernity (hence my term "secular modernity"). Hence among some intellectually-orientated types there will automatically be a preference for a sceptical, anti-metaphysical perspective as given, and tendency to see empiricist knowledge and methodology as the only reliable source of knowledge. This is also the case with postmodernism with its "deconstruction" of all underlying narratives and metaphysical and scientific assumptions (it is however important to note that one also finds a less widely known tendency towards spirituality in postmodernism as well[4]).

2-iv. Modernity and (Exoteric) Religion

Although modernist exoteric (conventional, non-mystical) religion preserves a sense of the sacred or transcendent in the personality of Deity, even here there is a loss of mythology and mystery, whether it be by the liberalising tendency of progressive monotheism, or the literalist tendency of fundamentalism that began with the Protestant revolution, and which approaches the Bible in the same way that science approaches nature, as a set of facts out there to be understood and analysed, but not altered (indeed the scientific revolution itself probably only succeeded because it built upon the early Protestant revolution, but transferred the empirical method from the Bible to the natural world). The result is an impoverished theology, an impoverished metaphysic, in which - as I once commented to a friend, Steven Guth, after perusing an evangelical Christian youth magazine - "all that exists is you, God, and nothing else" (or more precisely, "you, God, the physical world, and nothing else" but I was being expressive). In reply, Steven said "yes, it's Ahriman", referring to Rudolf Steiner's interpretation of Ahriman (originally the Zoroastrian and Manichaean polarity of darkness) as the principle of materialism and of consciousness becoming too imbalanced and caught up in matter. And this is the very well secular world that modernised exoteric religions portray, there is no sacredness of the natural world, no intermediate spiritual realities, no angelic or celestial hierarchies.

"Premodernism" does still survive in the West in "old style" fundamentalism such as Catholicism and Orthodox Judaism. Even there it is impossible to totally separate the original "pre-modern" from the larger world of modernity, unless one lives a very insular life (this in fact is the option preferred by Orthodox Judaism). Outside the West, religion and religious fundamentalism is likewise a mix of "pre-modern" and "modern"; this includes both benign forms of fundamentalism and extremists such as Islamism which for example incorporates elements of 20th century Western fascism[5].

The Wilber-Beck flavour of Spiral Dynamics interprets exoteric religion as "blue value meme", which will be supplanted by or evolve into, or rather the individuals who hold these views will mature into advocates of, the "orange value meme" of empirical knowledge and scientism. But this simplistic analysis ignores the fact that even exoteric religionism is quite different, according to overall worldview. Thus the worldview and the state of consciousness of the born-again Christian bible literalist is not necessarily the same as the old-style Orthodox Jew or Catholic who still retains a sense of the original "perennialist" wisdom (albeit distorted by the fundamentalism of their faith)

2-v Western Esotericism

Esoteric has already been defined (sect 1-ii). Esoteric and occult knowledge and practice is as old as humanity. Shamanism is the earliest religion and belief system; there is for example the famous paleolithic image of a bird-headed shaman at Lascaux, the site of many important cave paintings.

But the idea of unified "big picture" explanations of the inner realities and the popularity of the theme of a "perennial philosophy" only came about with the rise of modernity and Western external knowledge that esotericism became a distinct field in itself. This was because the secularisation of "official" knowledge in the West created as a counter balance esotericism, in the current sense of the term. Although the word "esoteric" is used to refer to the inner or mystical side of a religion, as opposed to the outer or "exoteric" - e.g. Kabbalah in Judaism, Sufism in Islam, Tantra in Buddhism - in the past "esoteric" always assumed a literalist and fundamentalist acceptance of the exoteric scriptures and teachings, but provided a hermeneutic for interpreting them in a less restrictive way.

This newer and more contemporary form of Western esotericism dates from as recently as the early 19th century[6]. It is similar to Western secular enlightenment in that it adopts a critical, questioning, and non-naive attitude to traditional religion and spirituality. At the same time, it avoids the limitations of materialism, reductionism, and scientism that define secular modernity. In this contemporary esotericism, which really came into its own in the 19th and early 20th centuries, we find as various subbranches different forms of occultism, mesmerism, spiritualism, hermeticism, Christian Kabbalah, Rosicrucianism, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, "neo-theosophy", and more recently neo-paganism and more serious New Age teachings. It might be suggested that at least the theosophical tradition of Western esotericism is actually an important branch of the Integral movement, in that many of ideas were incorporated on the one hand by Sri Aurobindo, on the other by Ken Wilber. Common themes of all three including - a "big picture" perspective, an evolutionary philosophy and cosmology, synthesis of East and West, evolution is moving to higher stages beyond the current human condition. Further common themes of Blavatsky and Wilber, in addition to the preceding, are: cosmology based on a complex linear series of stages (ditto Steiner), a teaching that is presented as a universal higher synthesis and explanation of everything, this universal approach becomes limited to the teachings of a single charismatic figure, and theory is preferred over practice (not deliberately but because of an imbalance towards the mental).

In the modern Hermetic tradition, a subset of contemporary esotericism that dates to the late 19th century, to the Golden Dawn and slightly earlier organisations like the Brotherhood of Luxor, we find an integrative and syncretic, but also strongly traditionalist, occult perspective. This harks back to a real or imaginary past, while containing a great deal of important information, insights, and effective practices regarding the nature of and interaction with the subtle worlds and subtle (supra-physical) phenomena. As aids for magical working, modern Hermeticism presents tables of correspondences in which elements from different mythologies, religions, esoteric systems, the natural world, and so on, are all integrated in a single system, such as the book "777" by Crowley (originally a privately circulated Golden Dawn manuscript, probably written by McGregor Mathers). A popular and more easily accessible account is Dion Fortune's book on the Hermetic Kabbalah - The Mystical Qabalah. These Hermetic-Kabbalistic systems can be considered Integral / Integrative in the Wilberian sense of explaining and including literally everything within a single highly intellectualised, detailed, and abstract perspective which is then used as a unique map of states of consciousness. These mental theories, as with Wilber's own Integral Theory, are highly idiosyncratic, with little overlap with other systems of thought.

2-vi. The Integral movement

It might be said that the integralising and integrating tendency has arisen many times as the counter-reaction to, but also the natural result of, the tendency towards specialisation and fragmentation of knowledge that characterises the modern secular Western worldview. Thus the term "integral movement" need not refer only to recent attempts at unification such as in Wilberian and post-Wilberian thought, but can be used to designate previous thinkers and teachers who had this aim or offered this, even if they didn't call themselves "integral"(as the word itself in this context was only first coined by Sri Aurobindo, and later, independently[7], by Jean Gebser).

As far as secular modernity goes, the "integral" tendency began with Hegel, and has been a continuing trend in western philosophical and scientific thought ever since. Wilber's AQAL (all quadrants all levels) Integral theory constitutes simply one possible version of this. Integral philosophy thus pertains to the unification and integration of all scientific-empirical, socio-cultural, and psychological-religious-consciousness-spiritual knowledge. However, for a truly integral and all-inclusive understanding one should also include esotericism here (including esoteric integralism as presented by Theon, Blavatsky, Steiner, Hermeticism, etc), and in fact any philosophy that explains the various elements and aspects of reality; it doesn't have to be a secular-based philosophy or science.

One might even propose a quadrant-style classification for the (19th to 21st century) Integral movement, on the basis of whether it is "Western" (European culture and civilization) only, "Eastern" (in the rather amorphic sense of everything from Middle Eastern Sufism to the Far East) only, Westerners who incorporate Eastern ideas, or Easterners who incorporate Western ideas

Western teacher,
primarily Western ideas
Eastern teacher,
primarily Eastern ideas

  • Rudolf Steiner (Anthroposophy), Max Heindel (Rosicucianism)
  • Teilhard de Chardin
  • Jean Gebser (philosophy, anthropology)
  • W.I. Thompson (cultural history)
  • David Spangler (New Age, Lorian Association)

  • Vivekananda (Four Yogas)
Western teacher,
incorporates Eastern ideas
Eastern teacher,
incorporates Western ideas

  • Max and Alma Theon (Cosmic philosophy)
  • H. P. Blavatsky (Theosophy), Neo-Theosophy
  • Ken Wilber, Wilberians, post-Wilberians (contemporary Integral movement)

  • Nishida Kitaro (Kyoto School)
  • Sri Aurobindo (Integral Yoga)
  • Haridas Chaudhuri (Integral psychology, etc)
  • A. H. Almaas (Diamond Way)
  • Some branches of Radhasoami (e.g. Sawan-Kirpal tradition)[8]

Fig.1 Eastern and Western forms of "Integral"

Or they can be classified according to whether they are philosophical or scientific or artistic, esoteric-occult or secular physicalist, and so on. But in general teachings and philosophies pertaining to the Integral movement, might perhaps all be in part or in total defined in terms of a number of common or frequently referring themes:

  1. a synthesis or incorporation of many or all possible understandings, practices, and points of view within a particular field, or within all fields
  2. a progressive, evolutionary, mutational, and/or developmental[9] worldview or conceptual framework. This may sometimes but not always viewed in a teleological (e.g. Teilhard[10]) or crypto-teleological (e.g. Wilber[11]) manner
  3. incorporating the spiritual element and higher levels of consciousness in some way, regardless of whether the worldview is holistic-physicalist or esotericist
  4. involving a collective social and spiritual, and, if one were to include an Aurobindonian perspective, ultimately global and cosmic, transformation.

Doubtless more points could be added. Of course, not all integral thinkers and practitioners would necessarily include all of the above points.

2-vii. Integral Movement = New Age

So far, the Integral movement has been interpreted as a broad and somewhat amorphous contemporary movement, a mostly Western or Western-inspired either intellectual-philosophical or theosophical esoteric movement towards intellectual synthesis, but also incorporating Eastern spirituality.

But there is another aspect to the Integral movement, and that is that it is - especially in its Wilberian form - basically an outgrowth or development of the New Age movement of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.

Defining the New Age movement is not easy, due to its great diversity of opinions and practices. Some deny it is a valid term at all. Liselotte Frisk for example argues that the concept of "New Age" should be rejected altogether, and instead the focus should be on the dichotomy of institutionalised religion and uninstitutionalised or popular religion[12].

In contrast, historian of esotericism Wouter Hanegraaff[13] lists and summarises five basic and very general elements which may be which he sees as constitutive for New Age religion as it is expressed in various New Age books, and allowing for many differences of individual interpretation. These are:

  1. this-worldliness, generally of the weak variety (the world is real but evolution leads to the transcendent)
  2. holism, the universal interrelatedness of all things, either with or without a common creative Source of Being
  3. evolutionism, - evolution is teleological and creative, the evolution of consciousness or of souls
  4. psychologisation of religion and sacralisation of psychology - evolution leads to perfect illumination, self-realisation is the same as God-realisation, we create our own realities
  5. expectations of a coming New Age - which may be either a moderate change for a better, more caring, compassionate, and ecologically self-sustainable world (the New Age sensu lato) or a radical raising of the collective vibratory level or breakthrough to a new spiritual era (the New Age sensu stricto)

Significantly, all five of those points are central to Wilberian integral theory, which indicates that there is indeed a doctrinal commonality here, which might be defined as "New Age". Thus Wilberism teaches a basically this-worldly approach that culminates ultimately in transcendence (point 1). It sees everything in terms of holons, in that inner and outer, individual and collective are part of the same entity (point 2). It is strongly evolutionary in a teleological, evolution of consciousness context (point 3). Through asserting that "the given" (objective reality) is a fallacy, it understands individual and collective, interior mind and objective reality the outer aspect, as all tetra-emerging in that we co-create our own realities (point 4), with this process of evolution culminating in enlightenment and transcendence. And the current "lower tier" society will evolve into a more mature and harmonious "second tier" (and eventually third and higher tiers) society and world (point 5).

Interestingly, none of the other contemporary esoteric and spiritual movements seem to be as close to the New Age as Wilberism. Traditional Theosophy and Neo-Theosophy can be defined by (1), (3), and (5); but it is not specifically holistic, and it also asserts both the dense physical and the subtle planes are objectively real. Pop guru teachings might be definied only in terms of (4) (although (2) and (3) may sometimes feature weakly). Neo-paganism (strongly this-worldly, so not point 1) and for that matter Transpersonal Psychology, are defined in terms of (2) and to a lesser extent (4). Sri Aurobindo and The Mother's teaching (also strongly this-worldly) emphasises (3) and (5). Point (5) here is of the radical New Age variant, although curiously they seem to be very poorly represented in the New Age movement

In short, at least as far as Hanegraaff's definition goes, the bleife-system of the Wilberian Integral movement places it strongly as a subset of the New Age. Incidentally Hanegraaff considers Wilber a representative New Age thinker, even going only by his earlier work (Wilber I to IV).

But surely the Integral Movement differs from the New Age in terms of its central definition of "integrally including everything? No, not at all, as we shall see.

2-viii. Integralism = Holism

In spite of Wilber's dislike and critique of the New Age / New Paradigm conception of "holism" in a non-hierarchical sense[14], it could still be plausibly argued that "Integral" sensu Gebser and Wilber is very similar to "Holism" sensu the New Age. While these involve radically different methodologies and perspectives, the underlying spirit of unity-in-diversity is the same, and clearly there is a convergence or parallel between the two. And Wilber would not have had the popularity and success he has achieved were it not for the underlying foundation of intelligent (as opposed to commercialistic) New Age (or New Paradigm) belief-systems on which to build.

Consider that "Integral" in the Wilberian sense refers to an aggregation or ecclectic bringing together of different ideas, themes, or movements. As Wilber wrote in Boomeritis:

"Integral: the word means to integrate, to bring together, to join, to link, to embrace. Not in the sense of uniformity, and not in the sense of ironing out all the wonderful differences, colors, zigs and zags of a rainbow- hued humanity, but in the sense of unity-in-diversity, shared commonalities along with our wonderful differences: replacing rancor with mutual recognition, hostility with respect, inviting everybody into the tent of mutual understanding..."[15]

What Wilber talks about intellectually and in a social and cultural context is also the same as what the New Age understands by Holism in a metaphysical context. An overall unity in diversity that embraces literally everything, while still allowing individuality. The following definition from the Wikipedia page on the New Age[16] is as good as any

"Holism. A coherent, interconnected cosmos. Everything in the cosmos is actually or potentially interconnected, as if by invisible threads, not only in space but also across time. Further, it is held that every thing and every event that has happened, is happening, or will happen leaves a detectable record of itself in the cosmic "medium" such as the Akashic Records or the morphogenic field."

Thus holistic healing, which addresses the whole person, as opposed to the "cartesian-netwoinian" (a term of abuse by New Age writers, more or less equivalent to Wilber's similarly emotionalistic expression "lower tier") medicine which treats the body as a machine, could be considered as having an integral approach to the body.

In the case of Systems theorist and Integral writer Ervin László, these two meanings - (Wilberian) Integral and (New Age) Holistic - are explicitly combined and unified. In his 2004 book, Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything he refers to an underlying field of information - which he calls Akasha (after the Indian term for "space", the fifth (and most subtle) element) as the substance of the cosmos. This "Akashic field" informs not only the current universe, but all universes past and present, collectively referred to as the "Metaverse". This also explains evolution as an informed rather than a random process, and, László argues, solves the perennial disputes between science and religion.

László's integral theory is specifically "New Age", although in the category of constructive New Age science. But note the use of "integral" rather than "holistic" (as it would be defined pre- pop Wilberanity), here. In the intellectual realm, "Integral" seems to be replacing "Holistic", perhaps because of the former's more philosophical meaning, or the latter's association with New Age commercialism.


REFERENCES

[1] From another perspective, integral artist Matthew Dallman argues that the "Postmodern" is actually "Late Modern"- see "Postmodernism is over - The Integral Age Arises" http://www.matthewdallman.com/essay_object/pomodeath_object.html (2003-2005) and other refernces on his website

[2] Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1976

[3] See TLDI 2-v. For the original reference to the Intermediate zone see Sri Aurobindo,Letters on Yoga, pp 1039-1046 (third edition 1971), and The Riddle of this World pp.35-45. More recently, a number of copies have been posted on the Internet. See e.g. http://www.miraura.org/lit/sa/ly/ly3-3.html, http://intyoga.online.fr/intzone.htm, http://www.kheper.net/topics/Aurobindo/intermediate_zone.htm, http://kundalini.se/eng/aurobindo.html, etc

[4] See Roland Benedikter, Postmodern spirituality - A dialogue in five parts on Integral World (May 2006), which considers among other things the development of postmodernist proto-spirituality, and sheds a whole new light on these postmodernist philosophers, who I had always thought them to be very much in the mental realm only. In fact they arrive at very similar insights to Buddhism etc through different (or maybe not? It is introspection in both cases) means. For a transpersonal or spiritual postmodernism inspired by Richard Tarnas' Participatory Epistemology, see Jorge Ferrer, Revisioning Transpersonal Theory

[5] See Ray Harris' blog post "Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamo-fascism" http://www.openintegral.net/blog/?p=56 This remains however a controversial point. See the Wikipedia articles on Islamofascism and Islamic Fascism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamofascism and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_fascism ) these two pages may or may not end up being merged into one) for varying perspectives and arguments both pro and con.

[6] The earliest reference is by Jacques Matter in his 1828 work Histoire critique du gnosticisme et de ses influences , although the term was only popularised somewhat later by Eliphas Levi (real name Alphonse Louis Constant) in his book Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie (1856), which was translated into English by Arthur Edward Waite as Transcendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual See Hanegraaff New Age Religion and Western Culture pp.384-5 notes and references, and Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esotericism#Etymology for additional comments. Elphas Levi in turn had a strong influence upon Blavatsky and hence Theosophy (1875 onwards) on the one hand, and even more so the Golden Dawn and hence Hermetic occultism (1888 onwards) and later Aleister Crowley and popular occult magic, on the other.

[7]Jean Gebser, Ever-Present Origin p.102 note 4.

[8] An example with graphics by an anonymous disciple of the Sawan-Kirpal tradition of Radhasoami (e.g. Science of Spirituality http://www.sos.org/ )can be found at http://www.kheper.net/topics/Sant_Mat/index.html This incorporates traditional Hindu ideas, Sant Mat, Theosophy, Tibetan Buddhism, and more. Although this material is hosted on my site I haven't (with one exception regarding a paragraph that was offensive to one reader and regarding which I felt his concern was totally valid) edited it at all. Hence it includes some material I disagree with (the interpretation of Sri Aurobindo and other great teachers for example)

[9] these words need not be synonymous, especially in view of the diversity of the current "integral" movement or movements. Gebser for example spoke of stages or mutations but not of evolution or development

[10] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man

[11] Jim Chamberlain, "Wilber on evolution, A Few Comments" www.integralworld.net/chamberlain2.html points out some contradictions in Wilber's attempt to deny that his philosophy is "teleological". In view of Wilber's denials of teleology (presumably because it is not accepted by modernity) "crypto- (hidden) "teleological" might be an alternative term to use in this context; although as Chamberlain shows, Wilber's teleology is by no means "hidden"

[12] Liselotte Frisk, "Religious Movements, Globalization and Conflict: Transnational Perspectives - Is "New Age" a Construction? Searching a New Paradigm of Contemporary Religion" CESNUR 2005 International Conference, June 2-5, 2005 - Palermo, Sicily http://www.cesnur.org/2005/pa_frisk.htm

[13] Hanegraaff New Age Religion and Western Culture, SUNY 1998, pp.365-6

[14] See the very readable summary/overview in Hanegraaff New Age Religion and Western Culture pp.176-79. Wilber's criticism of physicist David Bohm, who along with Fritjof Capra was one of the main exponents of the holistic and holographic universe, elicited a scathing rebuttal by Geoff Falk "Wilber and Bohm, an analysis of the problems with Ken Wilber's "refutations" of David Bohm's ideas" http://www.normaneinsteinbook.com/nechapters/appendix.php , and was actually the deciding point that turned Falk into such an unremitting critic.

[15] I found this quote on Nagarguna's and Tom Armstrong's blog Thoughts Chase Thoughts http://thoughtschasethoughts.blogspot.com/

[16] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_age






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