I was not one of the 200, or so, people who were asked what they thought about the blog before it was published, and I don't have a problem with that. However, had I been asked, I would have fallen in the 30% that thought it was over the top.
I was not offended by the original post. I was, however, disappointed by the explanation, as it seemed to be a little too clever, too cute, and slightly manipulative. But hey! That's just an opinion, and I don't take that too seriously, either!
It's not the criticism of the critics. Ken's responses to those critics is perfectly valid. I've been to a lot of the "anti-Wilber" sites, and while there is occasionally a good point worth pursuing, most of the criticism is wrapped up in narcissism of the worst kind.
However, it's the "how" the message that was delivered is bothersome to me. Oh, I know, the point is "how" it was delivered is supposed to be irrelevant, and I'm to examine why it might bother me, providing an opportunity for self-reflection and growth. So what I'm seeing for myself is that I am uncomfortable about the "how," and here's a couple of reasons why:
- It's not the way I would have handled it. Anyone who has been around integral very long knows that even people at the same stages can have differing perspectives. This is partly cultural, and I'm not particularly fond of the "suck my dick" language, but I recognize my aversion for what it is, and it's clearly not shadow. The point is, you can disagree with the delivery without having shadow elements. If someone says the disagreement requires introspection and shadow work, they are being shallow, and, well......partial. Maybe it does...maybe it doesn't! It is up to the individual to take responsibility for this, but to say disagreement constitutes a need for shadow work?
- It will be misinterpreted by the very people it's aimed at as permission to act in kind, and the level of discourse will not benefit. The same people who used "skillful means" as a weapon to silence their critics may now think they have tacit permission to go off on others, claiming a higher purpose.
- Some are saying the the blog, and now the response, is aimed at particular audiences. It has also created what appears to be a certain smugness from some who seem to be saying, "I get it, I'm second-tier, and here's your opportunity to be as advanced as I am." It seems prudent to point out that narcissistic tendencies aren't just limited to green (transcended and included), and it might be worthwhile for some to closely look at if, and why, they might have this smugness.
I appreciate what Ken was trying to do, here, hell, he's profoundly changed my life, but my personal opinion is that it was not the best way to approach this. My closing thought is to urge caution and introspection: If this was a clever test, what makes you think it's over? What makes you think that what we're doing right now, in this moment, and in the moments to come, how we've responded, how we will respond, isn't part of a larger test?
"Things are not as they seem. Nor are they otherwise." -- from the Lankavatara Sutra
"Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer." -- Mark Twain
(thanks for the quotes, Jake!)