Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Speaking Out with Passion

Wilber once wrote:

"Speak out with compassion, or speak out with angry wisdom, or speak out with skillful means, but speak out you must.... This is truly a terrible burden, a horrible burden, because in any case there is no room for timidity. The fact that you might be wrong is simply no excuse: you might be right in your communication, and you might be wrong, but that doesn't matter. What does matter, as Kierkegaard so rudely reminded us, is that only by investing and speaking your vision with passion, can the truth, one way or another, finally penetrate the reluctance of the world. If you are right, or if you are wrong, it is only your passion that will force either to be discovered. It is your duty to promote that discovery—either way—and therefore it is your duty to speak your truth with whatever passion and courage you can find in your heart. You must shout, in whatever way you can." (A Spirituality that Transforms, What is Enlightenment, issue 12)

Indeed, and in my opinion this applies equally to Wilber's critics -- in fact, even more so. For a system that is bent on promoting and even marketing it's own products and seminars, will have difficulty listening to critics, simply because it will hurt business. I have heard a lot of talking lately about who is qualified to criticize Wilber and who isn't, who understands his system and who doesn't -- the net result is that the integral ranks are closed to outside criticsm.

It is precisely those who disagree that can point out inconsistencies, come up with counter examples, see potential biases, check Wilber's statements against his own sources and those of others, etcetera. I have received many positive responses to my Talking back to Wilber. For these people the message was completely obvious and a matter of common sense. The integral debate should be a public affair, open to criticsm from whatever corner, or it will become an ideology.