A Brief History of Wilber

This is not meant to be a satirical summation. Recently I published “A Gnostic Interpretation of Spiral Dynamics.” This subsequently turned my eye towards Wilber’s theories themselves in search of latent mythopoeic language. It can be fun to search through texts and “uncover” the hidden dimensions of a story teller’s narration. This is exactly what I did with Wilber, and I’ll try to be briefer than brief.

Wilber posits there are things called “Holons,” a term coined by Arthur Koestler. Everything is a whole and a part and they follow an archetypal structure all the way up, and all the way down. I’m reminded of “As Above, So Below.”

Wilber has posited that reality is composed of 4 dimensions: inner, outer, collective and individual. This is a rather exoteric version of the Alchemist’s Stone, the 4 humours, the 4 elements, the 4 personality types, etc.

The pre-trans fallacy sounds to me like the Christian theological battle against gnosticism. Turn not away the world but embrace it. The romanticism of “before the fall,” needs to be checked in order to focus on working through the world. Again, an alchemical idea that the Earth itself is to be redeemed.

Wilber posits a developmental spectrum of consciousness that goes something like: Matter, Mind, Soul, Spirit, and Non-Dual. Well, that if anything is a simple version of the Great Chain of Being.

Finally, in Brief History of Everything, Wilber posits we are in a world of “descenders,” who would cast away all spiritual and “flatten” the world to the physical dimension. Again this is quite an old theme in many traditions. I am instantly reminded of Kali Yuga. He urges that we needed to “think vertically,” or to turn our eye back to the heavens. So there is a briefest-of-brief history of Ken Wilber, albeit from a slightly more mystical and gnostic (in the sense of gnosis) interpretation.

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