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INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
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Joe Corbett has been living in Shanghai and Beijing since 2001. He has taught at American and Chinese universities using the AQAL model as an analytical tool in Western Literature, Sociology and Anthropology, Environmental Science, and Communications. He has a BA in Philosophy and Religion as well as an MA in Interdisciplinary Social Science, and did his PhD work on modern and postmodern discourses of self-development, all at public universities in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Why Integral Theory
Moreover, the notion of a fifth force in the evolutionary Eros of Spirit makes sense to me (and to others) not as a technical term but as a descriptive term for the expansionary processes in the universe, from the initial spark or cosmic insight of the big bang to the more recent evolutionary acceleration of the dark energy, and from the entropy-defying phenomena of life to the development of consciousness itself and complexification more generally, where no one, including the greatest physicists, biologists, or psychologists, really knows all of what's going on. Although metaphors and other linguistic tropes are always incomplete descriptions of the phenomena they point to, sometimes they are the best we have at given points in our understanding. And at other times, it's just better to understand the meanings of life as more than a set of sums leading to the number 42, or 23, even if that means sacrificing some technical details.
And this brings me to the critics of Wilber's evolutionary theory. Granted, Wilber may be no expert on evolution, and some of his understandings of it may be flawed, but I don't think his TOE is really meant to be a technical theory of everything. Rather, his TOE is a visionary synthesis of how things may be in a general and as yet incompletely understood way. His is a roadmap, not a technical manual. And to expect anything more is to be materialistic and reductionist in ones expectations. On the other hand, to expect Wilber to engage his critics for the better of his TOE and those who follow and benefit from it, that I think we can more reasonably have expectations about.