All said and done, nobody can rob Ken Wilber of the crown as an intellectual colossus of our day. That such a large number of discerning people read his works and look forward to him for inspiration is certainly phenomenal. A sampling of recent comments brings the contour into sharp focus:
It's Wilber's writings that set my mind free from the limitations of the New Age mentality. I think it's more appropriate to refer to Wilber as an "integral theorist" or simply, a philosopher. But that's just me. January 10, 2007 at 04:15 PM in Integral Stuff Permalink Re-posted on the I-I pod at Zaadz
Calling KW a "New Age" theorist is like calling KW a "perennial" philosopher. But then even perennial is not accurate to qualify his theories. Bottomline: why qualify Wilber with New Age when we can just simply refer to him as a "philosopher"? To me, adding a New Age qualifier misrepresents the vast work of Wilber as a scholar, thinker, theorist, and philosopher. ~C Posted by: ~C4Chaos Jan 11, 2007 9:38:38 AM
In the wikipedia article, "New Age" is used a criticism of Wilber's philosophy and theory. The description of Wilber in the wikipedia article is tainted with criticism rather the being less biased. A less biased description of Wilber would be philosopher, mystic, theorist, writer, author. The New Age qualifier is an opinion. My two cents. ~C Posted by: ~C4Chaos Jan 12, 2007 11:38:28 AM
Re: Is Ken Wilber New Age? ~C4Chaos said Thursday, 10:54 AM: Maybe some of those people forgot that BHE, SES, Grace and Grit, and Boomeritis contain scathing critique of the New Age mentality/philosophy.
Though Ken seems very open to a vast range of traditions, he has been vocal in his opposition to careless sampling and to entirely fabricating practices. He has given a lot of praise to established lineages, which seems quite uncommon for someone pegged as New Age. Posted by: Apollo Jan 11, 2007 5:23:43 AM
joe perez Says: December 22nd, 2006 at 3:03 pm On the other hand, if you stick to bad KW interpretations and misreadings offered by people with axes to grind, then sure you’re going to be able to succeed at claiming KW as some sort of megalomaniacal theorist. But remember as you put together your own views on Spirit that you should expect others to treat your own words with no more generosity and accuracy than you are giving to KW.
joe perez Says: December 22nd, 2006 at 3:13 pm Oops - in last paragraph, “stick to” is overstated. I should have said “offer”. While I do think your reading of KW is somewhat off in this case, I don’t think your interpretations of KW are “bad” and wouldn’t want that implied. Honestly though, while I didn’t direct the “people with axes to grind” comment directly at you, generally with the “non-Wilberian integralists” that’s how I perceive them as coming across. I say this because some of the most vocal ones will latch onto any and every KW careless phrase, I-I misstep, and pile on. Then they’ll generously point to any and every KW critic from ANY point of view as their new hero. That’s the sound of one axe grinding.
Wilber in his own spiritual life has been influenced more by Zen, Ramana, and Dzogchen Tibetan Buddhism--though he does practice tonglen and deity yoga--and Wilber doesn't speak about Aurobindo's devotional writings. posted by CJ Smith @ 7:45 PM 0 comments Thursday, November 30, 2006 Indistinct Union: Nonduality and Christianity 6:11 PM
goethean Says: November 27th, 2006 at 10:48 am For some time, I have seen Wilber’s theory as an attempt to synthesize Ramana and Zen on the one hand with Aurobindo on the other. 10:22 AM
People in the Integral Institute and elsewhere have taken an imperfect human being and worship him as an enlightened bodhisattva (TLDI 2-x) Integral Practice, Integral Esotericism - Part Six Alan Kazlev 6-x The Incompatibility of Integral Theory and Religion 1:56 PM
Although Alan Kazlev doesn't consent to accord to Ken Wiber the status of an enlightened Bodhisattva, to the Savitri Erans it suits well as we can conveniently put Zen, Ken, Ramana and Theosophy in the same Buddhist bracket which is antithetical to the Veda-inspired vision of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. The Veda vs. Buddha war is two and a half millennia old, and let it be fought anew with the battle-lines drawn clear.