Friday, October 06, 2006

An in-depth review of Ken Wilber's new book, Integral Spirituality

We are now past the fourth meeting of our SeattleIntegral "sub-group," The Integral Spirituality Group, dedicated to the study of Ken Wilber's newest book, Integral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World.

SeattleIntegral's Integral Spirituality Group is the first formal IS Group on the West Coast and is a combination of experience and study centered around Ken's new book. Integral Spirtuality attempts to include the profound insights of the great spiritual traditions - respecting their essential identities - while exploring new forms of practice and realization, seeking a trans-path to the future of religion....no small task!

Our meetings have provided many insights into Wilber's new perspectives (known as Wilber 5), including insights to our own perspectives. Crucial to these insights is the expansion of the AQAL model (a combination of interior/exterior/individual/collective, or the four quadrants), into eight perspectives, or zones, pointing out that every quadrant has an interior and exterior (1st person, 2nd person perspective) element that must now be considered.

In other words, meditation is an Upper Left experience of the AQAL model. But if I'm talking about my meditation, that's a first-person experience of the UL quadrant. If I'm talking about your meditation, that's a second-person perspective of a first-person experience. Simple, huh?

As an artist, I intuitively and immediately understood the importance of perspectives. What I see depends entirely upon where I stand. At one meeting, I drew out a landscape looking at a mountain range across the plains, with telephone poles and road diminishing in the distance toward the mountains. I then proposed, what if I were standing over here, instead of where I was standing in my original drawing? Would not my perspective be different?

What we see, our perspective, largely depends on the culture in which we were brought up. In Integral Spirituality, Ken brings new understanding and tolerance for the perspectives of others....among many other wonders.

Wilber's new book "is a mighty challenge to religious leaders and sincere religionists everywhere, one that teems with original insights that could (or at least should) define the future of world religion." For an in-depth review, go here, and scroll down about a third of the way on the right hand side.

1 comment:

Tom Mull said...

=)