Saturday, July 22, 2006

Integral Without Hype

For a month I took a break from blogging, but will now resume this activity again.

In the past weeks, a lot of networking has occurred between people who have completely had it with the current hype around integral. And one might say: the hysteria. Hype when it comes to recent integral publications and events; hysteria when it comes to criticism, even in the form of mild feedback.

Add to this the glamour of a personality cult around Wilber, not to mention his increasing infatuation with Hollywood celebrities (see this kw blog posting about his visit to the "V for Vendetta" premiere in New York, and this comment: "V is for Vanity") and those who prefer reason above the culture of fame and popularity will want to look elsewhere for sane discussions about the pros and cons of integral philosophy.

One such initiative has been http://www.openintegral.net/, where many of those who have contributed one way or the other to Integral World have found a meeting ground.

15 Comments:

Anonymous Sander Fase said...

Funny to find your blog item when surfing for information about V for Vendetta!
While I'm more a down to earth than one should be to set himself open for Ken Wilber philosophy, I read your blog items and they are interesting to read!

Greets, Sander Fase

4:58 AM  
Anonymous Bob D. said...

Indeed, there are an increasing number of alternative outlets for integral discussion and communtiy building. The one that I am most excited about right now is the new HeartMind Forum.

This forum is free, independent from I-I, and populated by a core group of experienced integral forumites who have learned from the ups and downs of other venues.

Regardless of where one invests their online time and energy, it is very encouraging to see so many options out there, as the integral scene is bursting with potential energy right now.

Thank you Frank, for your efforts in this regard.

--Bob

10:30 AM  
Blogger m alan kazlev said...

bob d said: it is very encouraging to see so many options out there, as the integral scene is bursting with potential energy right now.

Yes I ageree. The cultic and authoritarian attitude of the Wilberian movement has actually served a very positive purpose, encouraging people to look for and to create alternatives. I believe that this is the start of a true integral movement. It is an exciting time.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Jon Howard said...

There is Darwin, there are the hard sciences and then there is endless, New Age bullshit. Ken opts for the New Age bullshit. He is currently flogging his untried and academically bypassed (will it always be bypassed? I think so, just as Blavatsky is rightly overlooked...) model for an uneducated American public, as it means absolute zip beyond it! The recent 'desperate-tit-suck-response' to the flimsy media Aniston attention is proof of the pudding. What Ken hopes is that some groundswell of populist support will bolster his theory. Perhaps in the US but outside it the cry will always be "show us the money, Kenneth?!?"...while KW is bankrupt and has nothing intellectual, aside from the actual $'s he is leeching from gullible punters along with his friends Deida, Bonder and that utter louse Depak Let-Me-Sell-You-God Scumbag on Oprah.

To be clear, I despise Ken Wilber and he he gets the only time he will ever have to watch his ideas ripped to shreds. Thankfully the truth will out, although his disciples may never see it. In its place they will swallow repetitive vague nonsense about 'energy' (as in the New Age Big Mind process he is currently touting -- which is utter shite via a friendly, seductive PR route) or Cohen's crapola while he looks wise and walks away unscathed, when it all crashes and burns, just as he did with Adi Da.

Yep, Wilber is a cancer who is in need of radiotherapy. He isn't a scholar (he has no formal qualifications so the term doesn't apply to him, although he cheekily steals it anyway), he misquotes his sources and he is populist trash. In short, there is no God via Kenneth despite his lies--there is NOTHING from science, philosophy or history to lend credence to his ideas and this is the last gasp (and you may be the last gasp) of a desire to find deity in a universe in which it doesn't exist. So, along with the Christian Right, I wish you much pain, sadness and suffering as you grovel in the ashes of transcendent word that was never there outside of your wish-fulfilment!!!

To state...Fuck You--You Lost, Idiot (lmao)

Jon

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Martin said...

Sad ... the worst thing about Wilber's recent direction of development is that it invites hateful types like the above Jon Howard to happily abolish anything beyond "Darwin and the hard sciences" ... really, it's awfully sad ...

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is depressing reading your site now Frank which seems to have recently become a total bore full of narcissistic raving idiots. Do you think any responsible academic or scholar really wants to contribute with the vitriolic nature of responses when any contributor admits to having an ounce of admiration for Ken Wilber or to engage in measured dialogue of what integral is? Is there any true space for open dialogue on your site any more? Why don’t you call your site the Ken Wilber bashing site to clarify to all what the true experience of entering the site because it doesn’t seem that integral to me? The recent ‘cult danger’ postings led by Falk contain some of the most spiteful, venomous, and bitter content I have ever read. Your site is becoming cultish itself where one can’t even express their own views without being bullied by the vicious attacks from the likes of Mr Falk. It seems that you have reduced what was once a great site of integral dialogue to a caricature of spitefulness, egotism and hatred.

5:38 AM  
Anonymous ~D5Disorder said...

To "anonymous": I agree 100% with your comments on the hateful Wilber Watch blog and the hateful Integral World website. But then what else should we expect from members of the 1st-tier herd?

What people don't seem to get is that when Ken expresses himself in ways that make him appear to some to be caught up in reactive emotion, he is engaging in spiritual theater in order to shake the spiritual tree and give all of us much-needed teaching lessons.

But when people like the narcissistic raving idiots who criticize Wilber on Integral World and Wilber Watch appear to be caught up in reactive emotion, this is because they are caught up in reactive emotion.

Wilber is enlightened (not "fully enlightened," for as he has said, one can no more be fully enlightened than one can be fully educated); the hate-filled anti-Wilber freaks who criticize him are not. But of course the 1st-tier greenies don't get this and can't get it, because they can't stand hierarchy, elitism, and authentic spiritual authority. The thought of bowing before a Sagely Presence like Ken's makes them shudder with fear and trepidation.

I have sat in Ken's Presence and I have heard his Primordial Voice, the voice of "I AM before Abraham and the Big Bang," and I can assure the baiters and haters that to be in Ken's Presence is to be released from the self-contraction and to be restored to to Unqualified Unconditional Happiness and the True Being of I AMness.

So to all the 1st-tier punks, whiners, and weasels out there I say: Suffer in silence.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why y'all such haters? there are good peeps on both side, I-I and non I-I....i think we all need to watch some sesame street.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder Frank if you are going to show any compassion given recent events with Ken Wilber. I challenge you to dis-associate yourself and severe the links and references of your website to Ken Wilber and replace the links with the likes of Meyorhoff & Falk as your focus of what integral is.

5:28 AM  
Blogger worm said...

darwin..hey, have u read on Cambrian Explosion before? are u guys atheists?

1:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Kid,

In a conversation between Wilber and Nathaniel Branden at Integral Naked, Branden asks Wilber how Wilber defines "Spirit."

Wilber says: You are fundamentally one with everything that is arising moment to moment, and it is that fundamental sense of oneness that is generally meant by Godhead." "All Spirit is, is the pure consciousness in every sentient being right now. Pure Spirit is that which is in Nathaniel Branden now, and is the very center of Nathaniel Branden, and is aware of Nathaniel Branden. And whatever that subject of awareness is, the mystics are quite certain that is Godhead, that's Spirit. ...that consciousness actually embraces the Kosmos and that's the experience of Kosmic Consciousness."

Branden says, "I don't think you would disagree, as ninety nine and nine tenths percentage of Westerners understand the concept of God, you are an atheist based on what you've just been saying."

Wilber says, "In the spirit of what you mean by that, that's correct. Yes, yes."

One cannot be an atheist about Brahman, emptiness, or One Taste, because these are not theistic deities. One can only be a-theistic about theistic deities.

Are you a theist?

5:21 AM  
Anonymous Mushin said...

Just would like to point out to some of the morte religious voices "having been in KW's presence" and also to the more vitriolic ones that there is a life beyond what Wilber says...
This site has been very helpful to me pointing me in all kinds of spiritual directions I might have otherwise missed. So thank you very much Frank Visser.

Love
Mushin

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Chris Frazier said...

It's almost comical to read the postings of Ken Wilber's critics.

Because of our First Amendment, people are free to express whatever their views may be within certain limits prescribed by our Courts.

The sense I get, from reading the savaging of Mr. Wilber on this site, is that his critics have no clear understanding of his philosophy and writing.

Ken Wilber is one of this culture's few authentic geniuses who should be celebrated.

His detractors, who are clueless about the vision he is trying to give us, remind of the gnat who attempted anal intercourse with an elephant. As the massive creature passed under a tree, a coconut became dislodged, striking it on the head. The elephant grunted loudly.
As it did so, the gant squeaked: "Suffer, baby, suffer."

I would, therefore, suggest that these shrill detractors find some constructive ways to fill their empty lives and return to critiquing Mr. Wilber's profound work when they have the capacity to understand it. I suspect this capacity doesn't exist.

Chris Frazier

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With friends like you, Chris, Mr. Wilber doesn't need critics. Gushing Wilber groupies like you are the reason some people ask if II is a cult. Do you masturbate to his picture?

9:04 PM  
Blogger DGA said...

Anonymous says:

"With friends like you, Chris, Mr. Wilber doesn't need critics. Gushing Wilber groupies like you are the reason some people ask if II is a cult. Do you masturbate to his picture?"

Well, if membership in II is defined by the doctrines to which one adheres, or by financial commitment made, or both, then it is safe to say that II is probably a cult. The question is rather whether it is a useful one or not.

Chris Frazier says:

"these shrill detractors find some constructive ways to fill their empty lives and return to critiquing Mr. Wilber's profound work when they have the capacity to understand it. I suspect this capacity doesn't exist."

There is another possibility: Wilber's work is not as profound as it seems to be. In fact, it's actually quite repetitive. Not just of itself (although that is also a fact), but of other books. Big parts of Boomeritis come directly from the 1996 edition of Spiral Dynamics (hardly something any critical reader can take seriously except as a symptom of new-age tripe); ideas that Wilber's followers identify with most strongly (the evolution stuff for instance) come from Hegel via Aurobindo, for instance. If you read around in European and Asian philosophy, you will see that Wilber is neither as original nor as radical as he claims to be.

This is why Wilber reminds me of a contemporary Ramus: if you follow Walter Ong's version of the story, Ramus and his theory attracted a certain set of readers--those who were on the margins of the academy, who either did not understand their homework or wanted another way up and out. It is a useful comparative study for those who want to claim Wilber's originality and singular brilliance.

There have been many Ken Wilbers. And if you asked, some of them may have claimed a degree of enlightenment. "Trust me..."

10:23 AM  

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