Ken Wilber on Waking Up, Growing Up and the Religion of Tomorrow (#54)

About the Guest:

With 22 books on spirituality and science, and translations in more than 25 countries, Ken Wilber is now the most translated writer on consciousness studies in the United States. He is seen as an important representative of transpersonal psychology, which emerged in the sixties from humanistic psychology, and which concerns itself explicitly with spirituality. For the fundamental and pioneering nature of his insights, he has been called “the Einstein of consciousness research.”

His debut The Spectrum of Consciousness (1977) established his reputation as an original thinker, who seeks to integrate Western and Eastern psychology. No Boundary (1979), which summarizes this work, is one of his most popular books. His core works The Atman Project (1980) and Up from Eden (1981) cover the territories of developmental psychology and cultural history respectively. In his recent work, especially the voluminous Sex, Ecology, Spirituality (1995), he has criticized not only Western culture, but also counter-cultural movements such as the New Age. In his opinion, none of these approach the depth and detailed nature of the “perennial philosophy”, the conception of reality that lies at the heart of all major religions, and which forms the background of all his writings. This fundamental work has been summarized too, in A Brief History of Everything (1996). In 2000 he founded the Integral Institute, a think-tank for studying issues of science and society in an integral way. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

In this Episode, we discuss:

  1. Why questions pertaining to self-reflection/existence are considered to be basic/naive within Western Philosophy
  2. The study of the relative self and multiple intelligences (emotional, moral, aesthetic, interpersonal, etc.)
  3. The path of growing up vs. waking up
  4. Ultimate truth vs. relative truth
  5. The various stages of growing up and their relation to a spiritual path
  6. The religion of tomorrow
  7. The fourth turning of the dharma
  8. The importance of reintegrating waking up into modern day religious practice
  9. How/should we re-appropriate the word god and its historical understanding to better suit its use in modern discourse
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