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Integral World: Exploring Theories of Everything
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber

Reply to Berge

Ken Wilber

i totally agree with this statement (it's a great statement, by the way).

in my response to critics, i was talking only of my original intent, which is what the critics i was referring to claim to understand and present. but as for my work as a whole, i definitely would not exclude any of the other types of interpretations that i outlined in The Eye of Spirit. in fact, they are all absolutely necessary for an integral interpretation. and unconscious intent, background context, reader response, etc., do NOT require agreement with me and my conscious views and original intents.

so of course i am not excluding those, i am simply pointing out that those who claim to present the original-intent type of interpretation ought to check with me if possible. and in a previous statement to these critics, i even pointed out that it was not absolutely necessary to check with me in order to adequately represent the original intent, but it helps enormously, and it becomes less likely (not impossible, just less likely) that critics will get it right if they don't (especially with a complex system like mine that is changing and being updated daily).

critics are free to pursue the other types of interpretation (unconscious intent, background contexts, reader response, etc.) with or without agreement with me. however, even then, the actual up-to-the-date system (up-to-the-date original intent) needs to be what is actually being criticized, or else a critic is simply criticizing an old view. finally, if original intent is poorly grasped at the beginning, then the harder it is to adequately locate the other interpretations in a total web of interpretations (not impossible, just harder).

but basically, yes, i have been referring to the usefulness to talk with me only in terms of my original intent, and then, especially, simply to get its most up-to-the-date version. almost the only good way to do that is to talk to me now in a presently-oriented dialogical discussion aimed at mutual understanding.

there are, i would say, in various ways and to different degrees, about three hundred scholars doing so at this time. i hope indirectly to increase this significantly with the opening of this fall. but thanks a ton for this post, i have always meant to address these other types of interpretations. and needless to say, were i talking to this person in person, we would have tons more to say.....

but for now, thanks!

ken wilber

August 2004

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