Wilber has a new (premium) offering on Integral Life - an excerpt from his forthcoming book, The Religion of Tomorrow:

Supermind and the Primordial Avoidance

An excerpt:

"Supermind is the epitome of freedom and responsibility. You, and in the deepest sense you alone, become responsible for the entire planet and all of its beings. Immanuel Kant beautifully defined a “cosmopolitan” as one who feels that, “when anyone anywhere suffers, I suffer” – a profound world-centric awareness. And the ultimate cosmopolitanism is when one feels that, when anyone or anything anywhere suffers, I suffer, because I am them.

Supermind is that type of all-inclusive, all-pervading, all-embracing responsibility. And it starts with being able to hold the entire Kosmos in your awareness without shutting out so much as a single item. Absolutely everything entering your field of awareness, with no exceptions whatsoever, is fully and totally embraced, saturated with love, radiating from the infinity of your own heart-space, streaming from the radical fullness of your very own being, and reaching out to each and every thing and event, in each and every direction in the known ends of the Kosmos itself. There is simply nothing anywhere, at any time, on the outside of this awareness. It is “one without a second.” And having no outside, it has no inside either, but simply is.

To contract at all in the face of this undivided wholeness awareness, this total painting of all that is existing in this timeless all-inclusive present, is to set in motion the self-contraction, the separate self-sense that latches onto the relative, finite, conventional small self – a necessary functional entity for this manifest world created by the True Self itself, along with the rest of creation – but latches onto that small self, or “I”, as if it were itself the True Self, or “I-I”, thus setting in motion the entire train of events known as ignorance, illusion, Maya, deception, the fallen world, the world of the lie. This is transmitted in each and every lower structure present, and the radically enlightened nature of Supermind becomes lost and obscured in wave after wave of avoidance.

And that avoidance rests on this, what we might call “primordial avoidance” – the very first subtle looking away. If we go back to the single, indivisible, total painting notion, there is some element, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, that for whatever reason I don’t want to look at, to be aware of, to notice, to allow into my awareness – that single, primary turning away, looking away, moving away. That primordial avoidance sets in motion the events that are, at this level, the dominant cause of the world of Maya, illusion, ignorance, deception. And every level, top to bottom, is infected with this delusion."

–Ken Wilber, Supermind and the Primordial Avoidance

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Hi Bruce. The paragraph below is interesting to me. I think part of the emotional force that gets spoken out in this ensuing thread is an expression of the power of such a move, as we imagine it. It is a risky move to make because it can evoke strong self-protection and adoration reactions - both seem to put everyone in vulnerable positions.

You assert this quite assuredly and yet you also acknowledge that there are some stretches in connecting the dots to interpret the pattern that he is going to the guru Adi Da status rather than pandit as he as often self-designated. I don't have as much knowledge as you and for other reasons as well I might be slower to make this claim about Ken. You have my interest.

Understandably, coming from an integral perspective, one might entertain different interpretations, view-points, conclusions, and valences about what his latest statements and 'moves' mean. I would not be surprised if I too concluded similarly as you. The situations and contexts being different, I wouldn't be surprised if I left more wiggle room around underlying assumptions and around imagined implications of something resembling an "Adi Da move".

I may just be slowing this down a bit so I can get up to a speed and a groundedness, and integrity, that works for me. Trying to ... Well, whatever :) Thanks Bruce. ambo



Balder said:

I welcome new writing by Ken, but as usual of late, I have mixed feelings about it.  Part of my reservation about the above offering has to do with Wilber making the Adi Da move: claiming to be one of the most highly evolved and spiritually realized beings in the history of the universe (in the company of only a couple others, possibly including Adi Da). He doesn't say this directly in the clip itself, but putting this together with some of his other recent comments, it is what he means to imply. He's definitely moving from his pandit role into the guru role now.

Ambo, I'll admit that some of my response-reaction can be attributed to my own unconscious stuff. But that in itself doesn't negate the criticisms. That very rationalization was how Ken dismissed those critics of his Wyatt Earp episode, that if we didn't agree then it was all shadow projection on our parts, meanwhile not seeing his own unconscious projections. That syndrome is part and parcel of the God complex, and part of this whole superman-mind crap. I actually think the state to which he refers is quite valuable, just not a super-advanced stage of evolutionary human consciousness.

Well said on the apparent situation that though we project, there is usually still at least some thing to our projection/critique, sometimes a lot over there.

I hear a part of me often saying, also, bullshit when I think other people are claiming special status. Make that an elevated God-like status and I can feel angry, or sometimes I can ignore it if the claim sounds so absurd from that aspect of myself.

The psycho-emotional place I often occupy thinks I am not qualified to know, and I say that to myself when there have been steps taken and mentioned by the other person that have a somewhat plausible ring, but I just haven't experienced it or can't follow it in detail. Then often the issue goes on the back burner for me.

There seems to be a range of some size where I am not sure what to think, and I suppose that often I try to err on the side away from self-defensiveness and consequent aggression, probably for various reasons. A couple of those reasons may simply be timidity and residual Oedipal-like reverberations (anger and opposition to early life conditions and situations), but I think there is more.

I appreciate that you have engaged me on this so I (and maybe we) can tease this out a bit more and acknowledge my quite common uncertainties, conflations, confusions and such. There is plenty that you and others have studied, understand quite well, and I find myself arriving at places where I can stay engaged, back-burnerish or more short term, and yet not know, and not overly activate my older habitual emotional charges. I suppose that is my sort of practice.

And there are places in me where I don't know shit - plenty, and I'm not sure which places those are :)

Blah, blah, ambovolent

Today's word of the day is nonesuch:

nonesuch

\ NUHN-suhch \  , noun;.
a person or thing without equal; paragon.
I can see that in a particular activity, like basketball (Jordan), or even in a particular philosophy (like Aristotle for his time). But these pass in time and others replace them as the best in a very particular domain. However when it comes to an nonesuch for ultimate reality for all time, like Jesus for heaven etc., there is nosuch thing or person. That very notion is archaic, counterproductive and even harmful to contemporary society. And as this thread attests, Wilber follows Adi Da in setting himself up as the nonesuch avatar for eternal ultimate Reality as such. It is also highly questionable whether he is even the unparalleled nonesuch for this very particular (not ultimate) nondual state. Ordinary ego inflation is rampant in this evolutionary spirituality business, something readily apparent and repulsive to most of us.

Sounds like a martial arts weapon used by Bruce Lee! 

Okay, not so fast there sunshine. Although I agree with your take on Wilber for the most part; and I think your take on post metaphysics is more logically consistent than his, I do believe your last paragraph contains a category error. The error being in my opinion, the difference between what is reality and human religion. I agree with you on the historic religious  aspect of this; that religion is false, divisive, inaccurate in its assessments of reality, etc. And until humans can come to understand that all religion to date is mythological, non-literal , ethnically bound, geographically centric ( India has the truth , etc.) , then the situation is next to hopeless. But these truths don't mean that there isn't something we don't know about existence and that there cannot be coherent philosophies on god. And I am not saying that I've ever come up with a coherent theory on god; just that it in not impossible to do so. Or at the very least we should be able to create coherent religious philosophies. 

I'm not averse to ultimates, just not ultimate ultimates that issue ultimatums!

Alright, t. Can you point me to some statements by Ken where he asserts this where I can get a feel for both the nature of these declarations and the context? Maybe I'll then be more on-board with a reaction to such extravagant self-proclamation.



theurj said:

Today's word of the day is nonesuch:

nonesuch

\ NUHN-suhch \  , noun;.
a person or thing without equal; paragon.
I can see that in a particular activity, like basketball (Jordan), or even in a particular philosophy (like Aristotle for his time). But these pass in time and others replace them as the best in a very particular domain. However when it comes to an nonesuch for ultimate reality for all time, like Jesus for heaven etc., there is nosuch thing or person. That very notion is archaic, counterproductive and even harmful to contemporary society. And as this thread attests, Wilber follows Adi Da in setting himself up as the nonesuch avatar for eternal ultimate Reality as such. It is also highly questionable whether he is even the unparalleled nonesuch for this very particular (not ultimate) nondual state. Ordinary ego inflation is rampant in this evolutionary spirituality business, something readily apparent and repulsive to most of us.

I can see universal relatives more in line with Zalamea's use of Peirce.

Ambo, I've cited dozens, perhaps scores of dozens, of such instances in Wilber's writing. As but one example for now, see excerpt G starting on p. 33 on the two truths doctrine:

"There exists absolute or nondual truth, and relative or conventional truth, and they are of radically different orders. Relative truth is concerned with states of affairs in the finite realm. [...] Not so absolute truth [....] absolute truth is known by satori. [...] In short, there is nondual or absolute truth, and there is relative or conventional truth, and one simply cannot take an assertion of the latter and apply it to the former. [...] The absolute is known only by a direct realization involving a transformation in consciousness (satori, sahaj, metanoia)."

Wilber is making a claim to this direct apprehension of absolute truth with Supermind, which is the highest stage of human development. And he's insulating it from relative comparisons to other stages, since this stage is immune from conventional measurements of a lower order.

Hi, t. I'm getting that you have pointed out this apparent fallacy which you perceive many times. I think ultimately this pointing out may be helpful to me.

I was hoping to see something that wasn't mainly his theory, which may be very questionable, but somewhere that he says clearly and personally something closer to what you extrapolated earlier, something like he resides in a state/structure of godhead. I was hoping to hear him say sort of unequivocally, perhaps even when challenged at that moment, that he resides as such and is in a superior condition to others.

I get that one can connect dots in a quasi-logical fashion, and interpret those dots into a pattern to attribute his stance, his attitudes, his motives, intentions and expected consequences of such self-proclamations.

I get that in his wyattearpathon he waxed very superior. In some moments, I see that as a common sort of consequence of great growth, revelation, state or state/structure-enfatuation/entrancement. He lost it, he got ahead of himself, he seems to have lacked an integrative grasp of breadth of consequences of his indulgence. He fucked up and continued to fuck up in his defenses of his positions. I might say he lacked judgement (am I being too lenient in my language?) I see that situation as one example, one clear dot.

I also get that sometimes one doesn't actually develop very fully through and past those attitudes and run-away-self-assessments and expressions, but learns better to cover his tracks.

I remember hearing, second or third hand, where one time uber-'rational' Krishnamurti waxed grandiose about some paranormal capacities to influence physically something at a distance. I can imagine he might have said this. I think for the most part, if this be accurate, he greatly re-inhabited a discipline of speech that wouldn't necessarily tell us whether he still believed that in all moments or not. How might he explain that if his grandiosity got away from him? Totally hypothetical, and I of course don't know.

I remain a little skeptical, due to ordinary psychosocial dynamics within us critics, when some reference points are interpolated, extrapolated, interpreted with greater detail and generalization than seems warranted to my logic and aesthetics. Yet I also remain skeptical of my own loyalties and maybe resistances to seeing patterns that to others seem obvious. That's partly why I am questioning carefully now. I haven't yet felt the case so unequivocally gel in me.

I'd like to hear more proofs, but at the same time I can imagine it might seem tedious and unnecessary.

I hope when I send this off now it makes enough sense so I don't sound like a fool :) ambo



theurj said:

Ambo, I've cited dozens, perhaps scores of dozens, of such instances in Wilber's writing. As but one example for now, see excerpt G starting on p. 33 on the two truths doctrine:

"There exists absolute or nondual truth, and relative or conventional truth, and they are of radically different orders. Relative truth is concerned with states of affairs in the finite realm. [...] Not so absolute truth [....] absolute truth is known by satori. [...] In short, there is nondual or absolute truth, and there is relative or conventional truth, and one simply cannot take an assertion of the latter and apply it to the former. [...] The absolute is known only by a direct realization involving a transformation in consciousness (satori, sahaj, metanoia)."

Wilber is making a claim to this direct apprehension of absolute truth with Supermind, which is the highest stage of human development. And he's insulating it from relative comparisons to other stages, since this stage is immune from conventional measurements of a lower order.

I don't see how some of the excerpts Balder provided from Wilber's writing on Supermind could be any more clear or obvious:

"You, and in the deepest sense you alone, become responsible for the entire planet and all of its beings."

Not meaning you and I, because less than 0.1% of the world population is at cross-paradigmatic stage. Supermind is 4 stages above that, so we're talking Wilber himself and maybe a few others.

"Supermind directly knows all of existence in all of its levels and dimensions by acquaintance, by identity, by being, and not merely by description, by naming, by describing [....] ultimate reality of the entire show is fully present here and now."

As Balder pointed out this is the metaphysics of presence par excellence. This stage makes for full present awareness and participation is ALL that is, is not yet and ever was. Sounds more that a bit god-like to me. Btw, I don't think there is any such god with these powers either.

LP at FB is trying to make the case that Wilber is not being literal here; it's probably more metaphoric and/or for political or other purposes. I'm not buying that apology.

There is an interesting gnostic feel to Wilber's metaphysics. Karen armstrong has suggested that Buddhism cross-pollinated gnosticism back in the day. Another interesting co-relation is Mike Hockney's hubris with his gnostic interpretations. It has the same over-inflated feel to it. Maybe, OVER-flategate?

This isn't to say that there in no truth in Hockney, Wilber, Christianity, Katy Perry, or anything else:)

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