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Human Development/Consciousness Evolution
Record Type: Review   ID: 157

Eye to Eye: The Quest for the New Paradigm (exp. ed.)

Wilber, Ken

 Wilber attempts to bring balance to the quest for knowledge by doing justice to "empirical science, philosophy, psychology, and transcendental religion...sensory knowledge, symbolic knowledge, and spiritual knowledge" (preface). He adds: "This is a book about what a new and comprehensive paradigm would look like if a full-spectrum approach is taken, an approach that attempts to restore vision to the many eyes of the human spirit. The first chapter is on the three "eyes" and their truth-claims; those of flesh, reason, and contemplation. He points out that the same 3 stages of proof are involved in all three: train whichever "eye" is to be used; make personal observations, and share and compare the results with others. In chapter 2 he deals with how we can be sure that the "knowledge" gained by those three means is valid. The next chapter presents a "mandala map of consciousness." The fourth chapter is about the process of psychology development of the self from ego to Unity to "what is," which follows the progressive stages of meditation and makes progressive levels of the unconscious conscious. The new holographic paradigm and its connection to physics and mysticism is described in chapter 5, where he cautions they should not be connected prematurely. It is followed by an interview with Wilber about the New Age, in which he criticizes pop mysticism and the "holographic craze" (p. 163). His main complaint is that people read and memorize recipes and call themselves cooks without ever trying the recipes themselves. Chapter 7 is new with this volume, and adds a fourth "eye"—that of the artist. He describes art and the perennial philosophy, and the future possibility of art originating in the superconscious. Next he discusses the pre/trans fallacy, which is the biggest obstacle in achieving a comprehensive worldview. It is a form of delusion or illusion in which a prerational state is equated with a transrational state, simply because they share some common features. As a result, the transrational can be reduced to the prepersonal, or vice versa. Neither mirrors the actual situation. Only the transrational can know what we call the Experiential Paradigm. The next chapter is about "Legitimacy, Authenticity, and Authority in the New Religions." Wilber’s concern is to set forth criteria for separating the more valid from the less valid of the new religious movements. Chapter 10 is an "Structure, Stage, and Self." He distinguishes between the essentially permanent "structures" of consciousness and the more transitional stages or phases of consciousness. The last chapter is on "The Ultimate State of Consciousness," which is both the goal and the ground of being, and "if spirit is complete transcendent, it is also completely immanent" (p. 308). Amen to that! As Wilber himself points out, heretofore he has emphasized the transcendent aspect but here he emphasizes the immanent.
Publisher Information:Boston, MA: Shambhala, 1990. 342p. Bibl: 325-331; 18 figs; Index: 333-340
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