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The Unbearable Lightness of Wyatt Earpy

Follow-Up #1

Ken Wilber

June 12, 2006 23:24

From: Geert Drieghe
Sent: Monday, June 12, 2006 2:27 AM
To: Ken Wilber
Subject: Re: your blog

Hi Ken,

I thought I'd share with you what Helen (my gfriend) wrote to the London Integral Circle:

Well, friends, for what it's worth, I must stick my head over the parapet and join Ralph's minority and make it two - I've read Ken's rant twice, and I liked it even better the second time than the first.

Don't get me wrong - my breath snagged a couple of times when he named names - particularly Frank and Don. But it's dawning on me that he has deeply grokked a use of the blogosphere, and this entry is in some sense a piece of art.

And certainly a challenge to any persons who might feel addressed by Ken's 'high octane invective' (to quote Matthew Dalman, another unfortunate soul who found himself on the receiving end once too often). But I remember Ken's response to David Deida's essay "Ken Wilber is a Fraud". I read that essay and felt the palpable love in David's words. And that's what Ken responded to. I read Ken's words - and I have met some of the people named by him in this piece, and have a sense of what integrous, honest and dear people they are - and I feel kindness in the criticism too: "come on, you bastards, don't just sit there bitching, get off your asses (US spelling) and come and dance with me... if you can catch up."

I really get the feeling he's experimenting with something. He admits to having thought twice before posting his blog. New Shit/Fan art? I can't help it, folks, but it really made me grin!

I completely agree with her. I think it's a great example of a multilayered post that really addresses several meme levels at once, a feat which is not lightly done. When I read it I feel like Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind where he is taken into a FBI facility to read encrypted texts and where all the relevant words show up. For somebody at green all the cuss words and the rants show up, but for somebody at turquoise the lightness shines out, different words and strings of words light up. It would be really interesting to analyze how you did that. Of course it has something to do with the humor, but not the gross humor that is evident, but the subtle humor inherent in your usage of the Wyatt Earp symbolon.

Great piece of art!



From: Ken Wilber
Sent: Tuesday, June 13, 2006 5:10 AM
To: 'Geert Drieghe'
Subject: RE: your blog


I wanted to thank you for this email. Both you and your girlfriend, Helen, have hit upon some very important points about part 1 of Wyatt Earpy (the blog post “What We Are, That We See,” on ):

—as you both say, it is above all humorous, written from clarity/luminosity/lightness/humor

—it is definitely done with much love (for people like Frank and Don—as Helen says, “come on, you bastards, don't just sit there….”)

—it is indeed experimenting with something (it is written in part to expose shadow elements in critics)

—even though it was written, in part, as an experiment and in jest, it is still meant to convey what I believe are extremely important ideas, and thus indeed it was written with multilevel meanings, and that multilayered writing was something I worked at quite hard, especially as it went through several drafts, and thus it is what you call “a piece of art,” or certainly tried to be (I love Helen's name for it: “shit/fan art.” Well, something like that I suppose…).

—but of all the things I have read about it, your sentence here is by far the single most perceptive thing I've seen (esp. about the multilevel signifiers and hence their multilevel signifieds):

For somebody at green all the cuss words and the rants show up, but for somebody at turquoise the lightness shines out, different words and strings of words light up.

That is exactly what the multilayered writing tried to do. So I wanted to thank you and Helen for being right on the money in almost every way. You two must be a kick-ass integral couple!

Much love,


(let me see, if you forward or post this, please include your email as well, or it doesn't really make sense; it dawns on me that it's the only public statement I've made about it so far. We are using part 1 & part 2 as elements of “the shadow challenge,” a series of blogospheric events which should be rather fascinating, and I hope helpful, but we shall see….probably more light for second tier and more shoot-outs for first tier….)

The Wyatt Posts:

  1. What We Are, That We See. Part I: Response to Some Recent Criticism in a Wild West Fashion
  2. What We Are, That We See. Part II: What is the Real Meaning of This?
  3. Take the Visser Site as Alternatives to KW, But Never as the Views of KW

Follow-Up Posts:

  1. The Unbearable Lightness of Wyatt Earpy. Follow-Up #1.
  2. On the Nature of Shadow Projections in Forums. Follow-Up #2.
  3. What Would Wyatt Do? Follow-Up #3.

The Shadow Series:

  1. The Shadow Series. Part 1: How to Spot the Shadow.
  2. The Shadow Series. Part 2: Integrating the Shadow.
  3. The Shadow Series. Part 3: A Working Synthesis of Transactional Analysis and Gestalt Therapy.

Check out: The Wild West Wilber Report: Looking back on the Wyatt Earp Episode

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