EVIDENCE 12: Narcissism & Sectarianism
Ken Wilber: “I went through a period of, kind of inflation and unbalance, because so many projections are put on you that you are both demonic—I’m much more demonic than some people would think I am—and also there are positive projections going on.” “I think everybody should love me, and when someone doesn’t, I get nervous. So, as a child, I overcompensated like crazy. Class president, valedictorian, even captain of the football team. A frantic dance for acceptance, an attempt to have everybody love me.” “In my case, when I become afraid, when fear overcomes me, my ordinary lightness of outlook, which generously might be referred to as wit, degenerates into sarcasm and snideness, a biting bitterness towards those around me—not because I am snide by nature, but because I am afraid.” “Perhaps I should mention that I am at the center of the vanguard of the greatest social transformation in the history of humankind.” “we are all eagerly looking forward to his next round of criticism, although I’m sure that I will be forgiven if I don’t respond, since I might have more important things to do, like feed my goldfish.”
Matthew Dallman: “I was associated with a startup company founded by Ken Wilber, called Integral Institute. (…) I thought was a think-tank was, in reality, a company, which went on to produce products for the marketplace like any company would. Those products include self-help DVDs, for-pay websites promising exclusive access to him, as well as expensive seminars and experiential workshops. Essentially, the whole thing is to sell Wilber as well as his model, even if advertised otherwise. (…) Wilber's neurotic (with regular fits of anger), often absent, leadership style was in my view largely to blame, (…) I decided to resign. I left, and I took all my work with me. After rounds of angry insults from him directed at, first, myself and then my wife (I maintain I never once reciprocated in any way; I was always respectful to him, as is to be expected), Wilber laughably attempted to claim co-ownership of my papers, and thus meaning I would have to ask permission to use them. From him! I consulted with a lawyer, and that was settled quickly, via a strongly worded letter from my lawyer detailing the basics of applicable copyright law in this country. (…) It also further cemented by belief that Wilber is prone to the hyberbole that substitutes hubristic, rhetorical flourish for real knowledge, in this case, of common law. And if he is that ignorant about common law, all the while feigning knowledge of it, what else is he in practice ignorant of? (…)Thus I resigned in part because the real effort of Wilber became clear. He wanted to be a trickster figure that messes with people's minds, to trick people to enlightenment. (…) The Wilber school. It is the school of hubris, of inflated emphasis on psychology as the alpha/omega, of occasional insight, of maddening long-windedness, of superficial scholarship, of the cult for the spiritually disillusioned creative class. (…)He advertises himself as one of "America's preeminent philosophers". That advertising is false. (…) Real scholarship, the only kind that stands a chance of restoring the Humanities in popular imagination, is not done by forming a Hollywood cult, or pretending to rationalize disgusting and irrelevant behavior such as Wilber's. (…)He has not done so, thus we can rightly see his "theory" as generally useless wind (with occasional insight). Do the insights outweigh the wind? Not a chance. (…)Wilber's so-called literary theory is specious. (…) He obviously never intended, or saw the value, of being a warrior for the Humanities, (…)Unless one desires a new kind of American guru (all the benefits, none of the responsibility), Wilber can basically be ignored in the pursuit to restore the Humanities to its rightful level of respect, (…) In Wilber, I have never met a more brilliant-sounding person. I have also never met a more self-absorbed person. (…)near everyone I conversed with in his circle held it to some degree or another. All apologized in varying degrees for his oft-obnoxiousness, given what they held as its counterpart, namely his so-called philosophical brilliance. (…)That, and you know, the messiah of integral consciousness is coming (and is bald, even naked) — the not-so-subtle implication of all of his marketeering. (…)The errors of Wilber that trouble me most are three-fold, with a fourth having to do with his disgraceful public behavior towards those critical of his work, and a fifth having to do with his entire attitude towards art (…) He has said, I have one major rule: everybody is right. (…) Wilber's is a political statement, not one based in the search for truth through real discourse and real distinctions. This "rule" is simplistic thinking, and doesn't hold up even within his own work. He essentially grants truth, a priori rather than arriving at truths through slow, soul-work practice of reasoning. There is no demonstration of how this "rule" is actually helpful to distinctions we must make in order to better understand the world and ourselves. (…)That is the difference between deducing truth, and merely presupposing truth. Wilber is guilty of the latter; whereas we must strive for the former. His "rule" further confuses a potentiality with useful pragmatics. Truth could come from everywhere and everyone, which is why an open-mind is always important. (…)Wilber's rule sounds nice, and it doesn't offend, empowers those who feel ignored, but it also clouds useful debate. (…)To say that everyone is right brings fog when it is clarity of distinction that we need, which includes, even in simple terms, right and wrong. (…) Everyone is not right. Some people are quite wrong sometimes, or follow misguided thought processes. Some people carry deluded falsehoods with them through their lives. (…) Pluralism (the result of global media-based intimacy with cultures that used to be far away) means we are open to truths from new sources, outside of our strict cultural traditions; it doesn't mean we simply grant others as having a claim to truth without debate and dignified back and forth. (…) Wilber says this is his "one major rule". It is useless in practice. What is his work without it, I ask. (…) That is absurd on its face. Natural existence, or reality, defies Wilber's version of it. Thus, Wilber's famous four quadrants diagram is a philosophical falsity. This is no small criticism. His famous quadrants diagram, and the thinking that went into its creation, is the cornerstone of his work. (…)This renders much of Wilber's endless Romanticism of spirituality to be speculative, at best. (…)Wilber is notoriously superficial about various fields of thought, and notoriously prone to collapse of various fields into some "meta stance" that is, in practice, an escape hatch from actually dealing with the thorny issues of a particular field. (…)For my part, it is simple to demonstrate that even though Wilber has several essays involved with his version of "integral art", the fact that his so-called "inclusive" theory of art neglects any substantial discussion about John Dewey, Marshall McLuhan, Camille Paglia, Norman O Brown (all heavyweights on contemporary art philosophy), or, frankly, most every major thinker and issue in aesthetics found in common surveys of the field. He cites Freud's analysis of da Vinci apparently without realization that it has been thoroughly discredited by Meyer Shapiro (in the very book Wilber purports to love). Wilber borrowed insights from Terry Eagleton (the proliferation of schools of interpretation) and Shapiro (critiquing Heidegger's famously strange analysis of a Van Gogh painting) without real credit to the extent of the borrowin; (…) He dismisses critics not through arguments, but because he thinks they do not have enough cognitive "altitude". Part of that is simply being in an intellectual field, and thus by nature being prone to rationalizing and over-rationalizing. (…)I believe is a choice on the part of Wilber to create a language around his work (as well as a community, network of websites, a pseudo think tank, university, and Hollywood buzz, and perhaps even a new religion with its own mortar church), a person can easily just substitute in stock ideas of Wilberian philosophy to almost any situation (…), much like a gang, fraternity, or even a cult. (…)His fans repeat Wilber's words all the time on blogs and online forums, shallowed whole, without any questioning of the assumptions that his views are in fact correct or accurate. (…)Perhaps most deviously, there is the inclination, fully supported by Wilber's own public statements, that people, everyday people who read Wilber's work, are somehow now equipped with the tools of psychology and can assess the psychological constellation, or "psychograph", of people around them, or even people in far off lands, or in public office, or of entire organizations or cultures. Pop psychology is in full effect for fans of Wilber, and Wilber himself. (…)It is lazy narcissism. Even Wilber, not trained in psychology (or anything relevant to what he writes about, much like Chomsky in this way), pronounces psychographs as easily as he pronounces, coughs, and speed-talks. (…)And that is precisely what the world does not need right now. The world needs humility, careful consideration, useful contemplation and action, and efficient innovation through involved research. And the world needs fresh ideas, aimed to help the world and not their creator's model. (…) I'm unconvinced it needs what Wilber is peddling. Wilber, himself, is everywhere in his books since Eye of Spirit. In works of authentic scholarship, the author rightly disappears. That never happens with Wilber anymore. (…) I think integral is more than Wilber thinks it is, and more than a basis for intellectual property so as to generate revenue streams. I think it is more than superficial renderings of fields and domains of thought that others devote their lives to studying. It is more than assessing the tone and shadows of others. It is more than creating straw man political, academic, and cultural figures. It is more than cozying up with Hollywood celebrities. It is more than agreeing with everyone. It is more than creating self-serving institutions around speculative philosophy. It is more than finding political reasons to showcase people on income-producing websites. It is more than using them for selfish gain in the name of revolution and once in a lifetime opportunity. It is more than marketeering for the self-help and actualization movement. It is more than leveraging the well-intentioned volunteer or low-compensated energy of his 20-something employees. (…) In Wilber and the rest, integral (for them it is capital I Integral) sounds like a silly, self-involved game that certain people play. It sounds like a pseudo religion. (…)It sounds like a self-singing choir for the few and the self-proclaimed elite. It sounds like people just repeating verbatim the pronouncements of its central author. It sounds like people who never question the assumptions and pronouncements in Wilber's work. (…)It sounds like people who believe that their contemplative practice allows them instant authority to speak on almost any issue or question. For those reasons, integral can sound a lot like a cult, in the negative sense of the term. Wilber and certain of his fans, taking after his cues from his books, sound like martyrs”
Jos Groot: “Feet of Clay, a book on gurus by psychiatrist Anthony Storr. He analyses some 10 cases of gurus (according to his definition) including Jesus, Carl Gustav Jung, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, and Jim Jones. He comes up with a list of common traits of these, and divides them in corrupting and non corrupting ones. Corrupting ones abuse their power for example to seduce women and/or to earn money, etc. According to Storr the Bhagwan and Jones were corrupted while Jesus and Jung were not. (…) Wilber himself gives a different definition of a guru and of what he himself is instead: a pandit. A pandit is a "religious scholar". Furthermore: The real difference between a pandit and a guru is that a guru accepts pupils while a pandit does not. [...] A guru is like a therapist. [...] They [pandits] are most often scholars, sometimes they practice meditation, sometimes they are very enlightened. However, they are not personally involved. It is a totally different profession. (…) From his pandit/guru definition and the existence of his learning institute it appears that he is nowadays a guru in his former own sense. So Wilber has at least something of a guru according to the definitions. After approaching the case from the definition viewpoint I now concentrate on common guru characteristics. These are scattered throughout Storr's book. For convenience I put them in a list: Isolated as a child; Remains isolated for the remainder of his life; Rarely has a close friendship; Indifferent to family ties; Introvert; Narcissistic; Eloquent; Charismatic; Authoritative; Paranoid; Does not discuss his ideas, only imposes them. Disapproval leads to hostility; Elitist; Claims that his life has totally changed after getting a special spiritual insight. Often follows a period of mental suffering or physical illness. Most often occurs between 30 and 50 years of age. (…) I conclude that Wilber has quite some guru characteristics: 9 out of 13. (…) The definitions and characteristics suggest that Wilber is guru like. (…) Is Wilber a corrupted guru in the sense of Storr's view above? Corrupted gurus abuse people for their own good. (…) He is what I would call “commercially corrupted”: persuading people for his benefit to buy something from his and his institute that is of limited value. This is not unlike what ordinary commercial firms do, of course. Only the product of the commercial guru differs. (…) In addition, a commercial approach, a large product volume (i.e., many books), unintelligibility and inflation (using many words without saying much) are warnings for the value of a teacher's message. (…) The fact that Wilber is mildly guru like and the outward commercial appearance of his integral enterprise are enough for me to seriously doubt the validity of his theory. I am therefore glad I paid little attention to Wilber's ideas after I first heard of them some 15 years ago.”
David Sunfellow: “Wilber is asked how he keeps track of all the information he reads and processes. Does he use notebooks, computers? His answer: It’s all in my head… I don’t take notes. I don’t have notebooks. I work on a computer and that’s it… I don’t know why this is so, but it is almost like idiot savant… I’ve read at least a PHD level in 23 disciplines… I’m aware that this is extremely weird and rare… Wilber then describes what it means to him to have an ability like this: My duty is to use it responsibly and communicate it to the best of my ability… I believe it’s some sort of deep metaphysical rule that you’re allowed to understand an important truth if you agree to communicate it. And I think if you don’t, you get sick. Your soul gets really, really sick. So that’s my main concern: how to handle this responsibly… How, exactly, does the process work? Wilber describes it like this: “Usually I just have maybe four or five books open that I am having to type quotes from and that’s about it. Sometimes I’ll jot down notes about maybe the names of chapters of some things, but I don’t have any notebooks or information or anything like that at all and the thousands and thousands of books I’ve read, for some reason, I retain the information. It is not a photographic memory because that’s kind of useless. You have to understand the information. But for some reason I retain the understanding of the information. And so I can recall it. All of it sort of right back to when I was 18 and started doing this… I also have an idiot savant level of pattern recognition… Because I have that pattern recognition, if I would read like Jane Lovinger and then two years later read Eric Yance and years later read Robert Kegan or something, I would instantly see how they fit. It just pops up in my mind… I don’t think these things through. I’m looking at them like I am looking at a cup, or a rock, or a table. I’m just reporting what I see. And so the reason I write so quickly is that I am not thinking. I’m seeing, or hearing, or feeling. And so when I sit down to write a book, the book is basically already done in my head… Usually only it only takes about a month or so to write a book… And the first draft is usually very close to the last draft (…) It’s not something I invented. It’s something I discovered… It’s brought forth and enacted by those who grow and develop to that level or structure of consciousness. And it’s something we are all bringing forth as we move into this territory…
Martin Erdmann: “To get a Ph.D in the US, you have to complete a doctoral thesis and have it approved. This is to verify that you are able to do original research. For this your theses must be reviewed by peers in your field of specialization testifying that your work does indeed elucidate something new. Ken Wilber's scientific theory, however, which is highly acclaimed within an integral community, has never been peer reviewed. (…) Imagine someone in an abstract of a Ph.D. dissertation argues: You can only grasp what I say when you already have a touch of what I say. Our peers will not be particularly touched by our candidate's logic. For them there would be no reason to look more closely into the propounded line of argument. A mere perusal of the abstract would be enough to have the dissertation rejected.” 
MARTIN ERDMANN: “Let us take Ken Wilber for example. In "What We Are, That We See", Part I we see Ken Wilber masquerading as sheriff Wyatt Earp, who is out to save the Wild West from gangsters and evildoers. So Wilber wants to liberate his followers now from this gang of critics who are polluting an integral environment. (…) We see a Ken Wilber who flies into a violent rage, which projects itself into these glaring reveries. All this time Wilber is not really aware of his own anger. He does not perceive his own wrath, as it is covered up by the monstrous thoughts he indulges in. So while engaging in his horrifying phantasy he imagines himself heroically wielding his Zen sword of prajna, which stands for the power of wisdom, of discernment. So he vividly sees himself liberating his undiscerning critics from ignorance. Prajna or wisdom calls for a control of our anger and resentment, so that we can act as perceptively, as prudently as the interaction with our fellowmen requires. Wilber overwhelmed by his own anger, finds himself in an unwise, in an undiscerning state of mind. Yet he sees himself as a venerable Zen master making use of his Zen sword of prajna to liberate his critics from the ignorance, which has befallen them. (…) Actually Wilber's Zen sword of pranja is a device unconsciously employed to keep this violent rage hidden from the eyes of his critics, from his own eyes really. In cases of such violent rage the angry emotion can hardly rise to the surface of consciousness. It finds itself covered up by an incessant flow of thoughts nourishing the illusion of strength and power. So the underlying emotion of fear, the deeper feeling of grief, which emerges when one sees oneself as weak, as impotent, cannot rise to the surface of consciousness. (…) In Wilber's case this would be the anger, from which his blood-thirsty thoughts have sprung. With an appropriate method of meditation it would be a lot easier now for Ken Wilber to stay with the unpleasant emotion, to sink into it, to become one with it, to see it dissolve maybe. (…)For these emotional blocks to be dissolved you must see the ego for what it is, what Wilber does not do. (…) What Ken Wilber experiences is not true Emptiness, in which the unreal I or ego has dissolved. For Wilber the ego is still there. So there is no Emptiness, which has been realized. (…)For the fury to dissolve you must engage in a method, which is altogether different from Ken Wilber's approach. (…) Undetected it will proliferate more deviously now, as exemplified by Ken Wilber himself. In What We Are, That We See, Part I we witness Wilber masquerading as Sheriff Wyatt Earp, who is out to save the Wild West from gangsters and evildoers. While ripping his critics eyes out, Wilber sees himself personified first as Wyatt Earp, then as the Zen master, who uses his Zen sword of prajna to liberate his critics from ignorance. This is how Ken Wilber visualizes himself. We see him besieged by an undissolved rage covered up by his own glaring reveries. (…)Wilber does not deal with his emotions of anger, fear, and grief. In his own theory he has no reason to do so. (…)In the Wilberian myth also followers are destined to act as a kind of priest, as a bodhisattvc priest so to speak. None of them is, however, as highly blessed as Ken Wilber is. So Ken Wilber remains for Wilberians the one and only venerable master. (…) This, so Wilber, is the true revelation, which will unfold itself once you have realized that Freedom has no inside and no outside, no surround and no center. (…)Now no psychotherapist in his right mind will apply the punching method to free human beings from their egoic distress. But that is exactly what Andrew Cohen does to liberate his disciples from the egoic afflictions they are in. It is a strategy employed by Andrew, which is in tune with Wilber's ego-theory (…), says Wilber in Living Enlightenment, In fact, virtually every criticism I have heard of Andrew is a variation on, (…) And I smile the biggest smile you can imagine. If it weren't for the Rude Boys and Nasty Girls of God Realization, Spirit would be a rare visitor in this strange land. It looks like there is an undissolved anger in Ken Wilber, (…)I merely wanted to demonstrate that Ramana's method does not have anything to do with the horrifying egoic slaughter as designed by Wilber & Cohen. (…)This is Wilber's own angry shadow, which he has suppressed. So we can see it “acidly, unrelentingly, eating away” at its author, to be projected first onto individual critics, then onto the site of Integral Word. (…)The criticism on Integral World, which Ken Wilber loathes, is restrained and moderate as compared to Wilber's own angry insults. Ken Wilber does not see this. It looks like he himself has not gone through the shadow work which he so emphatically recommends to his followers. (…)As the pioneer of the greatest social transformation he feels established in The Simple Feeling of Being, which is Emptiness itself, Spirit itself, which witnesses everything. Thus these petty emotions of being special, of competing with others, these base feelings of envy, of anger, fear, grief do not get to him. (…)What the mirror spontaneously reflects is the shadow which he projected onto Integral World, onto his critics. Wilber imagines to be beyond all feelings, emotions. He does not realize that The Simple Feeling of Being is also a feeling. So he thinks of himself as being beyond all feelings, while indulging in a feeling (…).The Emptiness Ken Wilber speaks of is an Emptiness to be felt. This is a Wilberian Emptiness. It is not true Emptiness, which is not to be felt, but to be seen. This is what Ken Wilber has not realized. (…) For Wilber it is Emptiness, Spirit, the Witness, the Seer, the pure Self, which sees and knows, but can never be seen or known. It can only be felt. (…)So Wilber cannot see himself as one with God. For him there is merely a God that can be felt. It is an egoic feeling, flowing into a wishful thinking, in which he imagines himself to have realized a state of Oneness with God. (…)A God, who cannot be seen, but only felt, is the mystical core of Wilber's writing, so of The Simple Feeling of Being. With a God, a Witness, a Self, an I-I that cannot be seen Wilber misrepresents both eastern and western mystical traditions to have the two misrepresentations integrated in A Theory of Everything, his all-inclusive integral scheme. (…)The Wilberian reader, lost in Wilber's flowery style, sees the transmitted neurosis as a bouquet of new roses, which he devotedly accepts. (…)The enlightened one does not live in this or that moment. He lives in a timeless state. It is a state which Wilber believes he has realized. So he imagines to be free from all time. In reality he has sunk into time, lost in an imaginary past, in an illusory future. (…)While lost in his dream he imagines himself to be a liberated bodhisattva free from all time-bound circumstances. (…)Wilber lives in an egoic state of consciousness which feeds on emotions. (…) There is another point, which I would like to raise. According to Wilber with the development of higher stages of evolution narcissism progressively decreases. Wilber's grandiose claims reveal a high degree of narcissism I would say. So he is either on a lower stage of development or his theory is wrong. (…) I presented a shorter version of my critical appraisal of Ken Wilber's marriage of science and religion to Anthony Freeman, former managing editor of the Journal of Consciousness Studies. In a week it was accepted as a proficient scientific appraisal of Wilber's work. Six weeks later, due to Ken Wilber's intervention, it was rejected as not worthy of the Journal of Consciousness Studies. In a rebuttal I was disqualified as an unknown author taking on a giant to get press. (…)I say you must not study Wilber's work for three hours. It may be enough to study his work for three minutes only. (…)A narcissistic energy tends to exert itself as a destructive energy. This narcissism with its special facades, its peculiar masks and disguises must be seen. (…) Wilber was fully aware of the abusive acts Adi Da was involved in. In private he admitted that Adi Da is a fuck up along moral lines. In public he proclaimed that Adi Da is one of the greatest living Realizers of all time along spiritual lines of development. (…)What this exposition tries to explore is not the manifold facets of Wilber's personality and work. It wants to look into the deeper ground from which his writing stems. It is a context to be explored, in which Wilber as a human being cannot be left out. We cannot leave Wilber out, because he himself wanted to be included as a person in his work. (…)For him they are inseparable though, because he wants to see his integral theory intertwined with the story of his life.”
V. Gunnar Larsson: “There is no doubt in my mind: Ken Wilber is a spiritual narcissist and has been so for a long time. (…)Spiritual narcissism is the feeling/thought that 1) I´m a spiritually advanced being, enlightened, third tier etc. and 2) because of that I deserve love and respect. (…)His reaction are pretty much the same as those of the alcoholic who, in general, is oversensitive even to the most stupid criticism, (…)The tone of the dialogue in What Is Enlightenment? between the guru and the pandit, Andrew Cohen and Ken Wilber, was from the very start: If you admit that what I say is great, I´ll admit that what you say is great, too. Mutual spiritual narcissism.”
Scott F. Parker: “Wilber's case is a dire warning against taking oneself too seriously and allowing others to do the same. This has produced the intended effect of leaving him with the audience he wants: the one that recognizes him as a genius. (…)Because he [Wilber] declines to enter into the ongoing conversations of philosophy as philosophers are having them, he ensures that his ideas are non-translatable outside his circle of followers. He keeps himself out of any community that is not established in his image and then uses this as evidence that the other communities are hopelessly confused. This further earns him the devotion of his followers at the expense of being able to talk to anyone else. (…) Integral World, critics are dismissed, ridiculed, and mocked, but never engaged. (…)The problem is that he ceased to think of himself as a storyteller and began to think of himself as someone with an inside track on the way things are. And this was indulged because Wilber did not belong to a community that could have held him in check; instead, he was surrounded by followers, who were in no position to do anything but defer.”
Robert Sandberg: “Wilber is an incredibly well-informed critical analyst and popularizer of the subjects he writes about, but he is not a practicing expert in any of them. (…) Currently there are serious controversies dogging the Institute and Wilber. One of the biggest problems confronting Wilber is his unwillingness to engage his critics (many of them would-be sympathetic colleagues and students) in good faith argument and discussion. (…) Wilber should not be taken as an exponent of original, cutting edge research and thought. (…) readers and students of Wilber’s writings began to criticize his tone and style, characterizing it as arrogant, pompous, patronizing, and elitist. (…) Wilber apparently thinks his work deserves the same kind of respect and attention given to that done by practicing psychologists, philosophers, and scientists. But Wilber and his work are not taken seriously by most professional psychologists, philosophers, and scientists and anyone pointing out this fact to Wilber, however directly or indirectly, formally or informally, risks--as you will see shortly--making Wilber quite cranky. In a infamous series of blog postings in June 2006, Wilber viciously attacked his critics, including one erstwhile sympathetic reader and follower, Frank Visser. Wilber could not apparently tolerate the close reading and criticism Visser was publishing on his website, Integral World. In the first of these blog posts, “What We Are, That We See,” dated June 8, 2006, Wilber threw Visser and other unnamed critics “under the bus” with language so offensive that it is now highly unlikely Wilber can ever hope to communicate to the size and type of audience he may have once aspired to inform and educate. (…) In subsequent posts Wilber claimed he was just testing his readers. Apparently anyone unable to see humor in Wilber’s fantasy of murdering, “ripping” the eyes from his slain critics’ eye-sockets, and washing away the blood with his piss is “simply” not evolved enough to appreciate or understand his writings or his mission. (…) An interesting, not often noted fact about Wilber is that he was raised a fundamentalist Christian.”
Michel Bauwens: “First, it was the Da Free John case. Da Free John aka Franklin Jones was a very literate spiritual master, whom Wilber claimed to be the avatar for our age, someone who incarnate his own theories in the practice of a realized and enlightened Being, adapted to our own age. (…) So when I approached Da Free John I immediately realized it had already taken on the workings of an exploitative cult, a fact that was confirmed by many former devotees and their exposees and tales of sexual exploitation, financial greed, and deceit. But as the madness of Da Free John started to gather huge proportions, Wilber could not and would not bring himself to any clear denunciation, he wrote what were in my opinion convoluted letters and only in a third letter did he acknowledged clearly that it was better to stay away from the communes. The letter however still implies that Da Free John is a "realized being", but that it somehow co-exists with features that are not so healthy for his devotees. Wilber is of course entitled to such opinion, but what disturbed me is the whole tone of defensiveness about it, this huge difficulty of saying, "I misjudged". It is mostly that which set made me worry. (…) f you praise someone as the purest expression of your own theoretical system, and that experience then fails, and you fail to clearly analyse this or even recognize it, then somehow to me, Wilber's theories started to look more like a ideological construct. Just as a Marxist had to take stock, but not necessarily abandon all his premises after the ultimate failure of the Soviet experiment, you would expect that Wilberism would have to take stock after such an event, but it did not happen. (…) Finally, there was a personal incident. In short, I had sent Ken, whom I considered a friend by then, since I had visited him and interviewed him for four hours, a draft of an essay on the new world of work, which clearly stated that it was inspired by his work, specifically mentioned a series of consultants working in his spirit, then went on to describe the four quadrants, and apply them creatively to my own domain, with notes and references and all. I got back a letter which threatened me with 'exclusion from the network' and even legal consequences for 'intellectual theft'. But how could that be, how could an essay mentioning him, using his method, of which I had send him a draft!!, be constructed as theft, and deserve threats of legal action??? I was deeply hurt, baffled, and entered into an email conversation which did not solve anything fundamentally. Though I got some kind of excuse in the end, he said that he was under pressure and that his 'advisers' had told him to react in that way, he also managed to say that "I didn't understand all his theory". Note that this has become Ken's standard argument against everybody. Only a close circle, who seemingly work in secret around him and do not publish their papers yet, are said to fully understand him. (…) this is in the period that Ken wrote the One Taste diary, in which he claims that he is in the process of attaining longer and longer moments of nondual realization. So he is no longer content to claim that he is just a pandit (a 'theoretician' if you like), but a spiritual realiser himself (though he stresses he will never want to be a master himself). He even makes the explicit claim that the different phases of his work (four at that time) represents phases of spiritual maturation as well. It is during these years that Ken's great enemy started to be the Narcissism (…) Could it not simply be that my essay's great crime was not to mention him enough?? Could his rage not be explained by wounded narcissism, and would that not shed light on the development of his own theory, and his siding with the neoconservatives in the culture wars? On a little side note, a friend of mine, who was trying to make a synthesis of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and Spiral Dynamics, and also asked for advice, received a similar email attack - from Don Beck (…). You don't have to follow me in this interpretation of the above incident, which may cloud my judgement because it generated such feelings of hurt and disappointment, but what it did to me was to free me from my fixation on Wilber. (…) I would venture the hypothesis that the attractiveness of the grand Wilberian scheme is that it functions as an ultimate answer, an all-encompassing system, and that I am not the only one who placed my discernement outside of myself, to an external arbiter. It is this that feeds the two-way logic of cultism, (…) Despite the claims of nondualism it is a path with a heavy bias towards pure transcendence, and a disregard for immanence. (…) The specter of money, before it would go up in smoke due to the internet crash, attracted a lot of people to the Wilber camp, people who, in my own personal experience, had been deriding him, and vice versa (I received emails from both camps). The free flow of information, hitherto a characteristic of the movement, started to become very restricted. I believe the reason is that he started attracting a lot of for-profit consultants, who have proprietary views about knowledge. (…) Wilber simply never engages his critics, only to say that they 'misunderstand him'. (…) We must really guard ourselves of the very bad habits developed in the integral, but especially SD milieus, to brand everyone with colored epiteths, corresponding to their purported lack of cognitive development.”
Michel Bauwens: “It has long been apparent that the movement around Ken Wilber, despite all the good people it is still attracting, is becoming a closed cultic environment. One of the key symptoms is a total inability to deal with criticism. (…) Wilber has never accepted such criticism, and has said so on occasion. The only critique that he accepts, are the ones that are written in the particular form of the panegyric. They have to recognize the overriding importance and truth of his system, and then suggest some changes, which he then welcomes as a contribution to his own system of systems. Moreover, most of that type of criticism is unavailable for the public (…). Surely, the difficulty of dealing with critique is not particular to Wilber, it is a human frailty that is easily recognizable. Yet one must fight it, because if one wants to be recognized especially in the academic world, subjecting oneself to peer review is a must; and in the internet world, that is extended to the broader public at large. This means on occasion a willingness to deal even with criticism which one esteems to be qaulitatively lacking. (…) For Wilber, critics are simply morons. There is not a single paragraph where an actual argument is taken into account and a counter-argument offered; critics are systematically described as being cognitively deficient, ‘constitutionally unable’ to give a reasoned account of his work; he absolutes forbids any critique that does not take into account the full 3,000 pages of his work, with the permanent claim that any critique has already been superseded by his subsequent work, but no detail is ever given, you have to take it on faith. Then there is the style and tone. The Boomeritis novel had already shown a strong, I don’t know if I should call it infantile or adolescent, streak in his style, which is simply full of sexual innuendo that we should not expect, and I think, accept, in a man of such purported stature. It sounds like the expression of a man desperately in need of confirmation by the young, attempting to be ‘cool’, but not quite knowing how to do it, and revealing his own immaturity in the process. (…) Not to blame Wilber as a person, but to recognize that what is in the making, with increasing financial and institutional support, is a new type of neoconservative ‘Leninist’ movement, that seeks power for a purported cognitive elite, and disqualifies those that disagree, from the space of debate. In fact, that you disagree, is by itself the proof that you are not integral. This is the space that Wilber is attempting to create with his rant, and it should be resisted. (…) This is what the Wilber critics are showing, and they should be applauded for it. Judging from the past, I do not think that the institutional integral movement has any capacity to deal with such challenges, and any movement that cannot integrate honest criticism, will not only stagnate, but degenerate. It is this which we are witnessing at a more and more rapid scale now, and it is a sad spectacle.”
Michel Bauwens: “The basis of cultism is the abandonment of autonomy and critical thinking by adherents, which project ideal qualities on the leader of the group. This same process feeds the narcissism and sense of superiority of the leader. In other words: such a process is never static. Once it sets in, it becomes a self-reinforcing process, which evolves around key events. One typical event is the example setting of outrageous and ‘non-normal’ behaviour. Such an event will typically set apart those with doubts and critique, as being part of the outgroup; while those willing to justify the behaviour, will be considered to be part of the superior in-group. As an individual you then have two choices. Remain critical, and be considered a negative force by the in-group; you can then stay and adapt, or, if you’re steadfast, the process of separation will have begun. (…) If you adapt to the pressure of the majority, the confirmation that the event has given to the superiority of the leader, will only reinforce the narcissism, and the stage will be set for a further ‘event’ or process. This next event will generally test the waters of conformity and obedience even further. People should therefore not expect that the movement around Wilber will stay a moderate and positive force, because once the process has set in, based on authoritatian cognitive and spiritual premises, there can no longer be a counter-force. The narcissism demands to be fed, and like an addition, the doses have to be increased to be felt. Let me offer a hypothesis of how it evolved in the case of the Integral Institute. Wilber was at first a ‘normal’ flawed individual, like most of us, but with genial intellectual and integrative gifts, at one moment in tune with what our culture needed. He pretty much lived like a hermit, dedicated to his search, which would eventually resulted in a totalising intellectual edifice. (…) James Firmage, the creator of the USWeb/CKS and at some point a internet billionaire, promised a huge amount of money to Ken Wilber. The promise and availability of money then created peculiar dynamics. Many former critics of Wilber, became gradually his friends again, and it also attracted business consultants. In particular it attracted Don Beck, who uses the Spiral Dynamics system of Clare Graves as a system to rate people and create an in group/ vs. out group process. (…) I’m also pretty much convinced that the personal dynamic between Beck and Wilber reinforced the narcissic processes. This gradually aligned the new Wilber/Beck grouping into the discourse of the neoconservatives (with Beck stating his support for Bush as a great leader), and their cultural wars against political correctness. It is also the moment where it became evident that any critique that you could have, by itself was a proof that you were regressive. The SDi forums and mailing lists are rife with attacks on Wilber critics, which are all termed green. In other words: it is no longer possible to have an open intellectual discussion, since your critique itself is a symptom of your disease. Being integral is increasingly being defined as: ‘agreeing with Ken Wilber’. This is the only critique being accepted within the movement. And basically it takes the form of: yes you are a genius, but wouldn’t you consider that xxx. Such a form of self-denegating critique is the only one acceptable, and it can only serve to strengthen the edifice and the influence of the master. In the words of Don Beck: Wilber’s critics are ankle-biters and bottom-dwellers. (and in the recent words of Wilber: they are all morons). In One Taste, Wilber then started claiming that he was well on the way of being ‘Enlightened’ himself. (…) It also became clear that Wilber/Beck were increasingly associated with the authoritarian cult of Andrew Cohen. (…) Could it have been avoided without the Firmage/Beck connections? I’m actually doubtful, because the previous uncritical connection of Ken Wilber with the abusive practices of Da Free John, had already shown the same process at work, and it took years of incredible pressure to break the admiration of Wilber for Da Free John. In other words: the totalising edifice and the particular personality of Wilber would in all likelyhood have evolved in this way eventually. Can there be any hope for such a movement? In my opinion: none whatsovever. The point of no-return has long passed. Integralism a la Wilber is not a democratic integrative movement. Of course it can attract good people, much like the fellow-travelers of Stalinism, who love the ideal and have a cognitive filter blocking out the lack of freedom in intellectual discourse. And these people may do good things. Also, some of the ideas put forward by Wilber, which are in many cases rewordings of insights of others, can of course have value. I would say, just pick and choose the good ideas, but disregard the totalising system in which they are embedded. (…) this is a general cultural movement that takes many forms, and that one particular form of it, the institutionalization of it as a ‘Leninist’ neoconservative movement, has become a travesty of it, and should be avoided. How is my rant, based on personal experience, since I have been associated for 15 years with Wilberism myself, related to peer to peer theory? Obviously any form of spiritual and cognitive authoritarianism is incompatible with an open process of participative spirituality. If you are an advocate of peer to peer relational dynamics, any closed intellectual environment, based on the systematic abuse of critics, is not something that is acceptable.”
FRANK VISSER: “Around 2000 several authors started to submit essays to the "World of Ken Wilber" website. Among the first authors were Mark Edwards, Ray Harris, and Andy Smith. All three would write around 30 essays on Wilber, some of them very lengthy, all of them thoughtful and carefully written. I also tried to facilitate a debate between Wilber and his critics (e.g. Alan Combs, Peter Collins, John Heron) on the site. (...) Wilber's stance towards these Integral World essays has frankly always surprised me. So defensive. (...) My Wilber website was virtually the only place in the world were people took the time and the effort to apply the tools of reason to Wilber proposals. Wilber only complained that these "critics" misrepresented his work – which struck me as rather convenient. And he never really took the trouble to substantiate this claim. Far more important, in my opinion, is that these critics – who by now form a spectrum of critics who range from strong positive to strong negative – hold Wilber's ideas and claims to the light of rationality, come up with counter examples, check his sources and offer alternative interpretations, express their doubts about some of his more confident assertions, etc. etc. The very essence of rationality. (...) I do see a lot of sense in holding Ken Wilber accountable for his often over-confident statements and confronting him with alternatives to his work. In the same year Wilber submitted a statement to the Reading Room of Integral World, called "A Suggestion for Reading the Criticisms of My Work". He stated that only critics who are in personal contact with him have a chance of understanding his work correctly, and therefore have the opportunity to criticize it, if at all. He also suggested critics would focus on their own ideas, instead of criticizing Wilber's. This obviously violated the rules of public debate, in which one develops one's own ideas while criticizing those of others, as Mark Edwards and Ray Harris were quick to point out. Besides, what about Wilber's own track record in criticizing other authors: has he been in personal contact with any of the hundreds of authors he has so freely criticized? I don't think so.... Has he understood the authors he has critized? Who can tell, other than a community of specialists? Other authors started publishing on Integral World. One of them, Jeff Meyerhoff, had written a book-length critique of Wilber called "Bald Ambition". I liked the careful way in which Meyerhoff took up several topics from Wilber's work (mainly Sex, Ecology, Spirituality) and went back to Wilber's original sources, often coming up with interesting alternative interpretations of them. He also – as a good postmodernist – pointed out symptoms displayed in Wilber's main work, tensions unnoticed by other reviewers, which point not only to inconsistencies of Wilber's theory but also to insecurities on his part as to the conclusiveness of his arguments. (...) Wilber argues that he knows best what he means with his own theories. Fine. But even Wilber once wrote in The Eye of Spirit: "Artists are not always the best interpreters of their own works" as Edward Berge perceptively pointed out in his essay "Who Decides What Wilber Means?". And Meyerhoff, especially in his chapter "Psychological Analysis of Wilber's Beliefs" argues that Wilber might not be aware of all of his motives when writing his work (...). That is independent of the equally important question of whether Wilber's ideas are valid or not. It is here that the need for independent research into the value of Wilber's work comes to the fore very clearly. Otherwise, academic discourse will be tied up in all kinds of irrelevant you-need-to-be-in-personal-contact-with-Wilber cultic arguments. The essence of scientific debate is that it is public. That we correct each other's unavoidable misconceptions and respond to our more thoughtful critics, especially when they devote whole monographs to criticizing one's work (...) In 2006 Wilber's exasperation with the Integral World critics exploded during the Wyatt Earp episode, in which Wilber insulted his critics, degrading and dismissing them by basically stating that he was smarter then everybody else. Now one wonders, from what kind of altitude does that urge to finally silence all debate actually come? That, as one critic remarked, did more damage to Wilber's academic reputation than anything that any critic could ever have done. This stance towards criticism – dismissive, contemptuous – is really sub-standard. (...) It ended my faith in Wilber as someone who could really make a difference in the world of science and spirituality. From then on, I noticed the style of discourse in integral circles changed more and more in the direction of sales language, political slogans and repetitive "arguments". (...) If Integral Politics is so high on the integral agenda, where are the solid integral accounts of Iraq, the Middle East or even the upcoming US elections? The trouble with Ken Wilber, if you ask me, is that, for all his academic phraseology, he is not embedded in a corrective academic community. Instead, he has created a community of admirers of his own, in which he rules supreme. As King in his Integral Castle, his stance is isolationist, aloof, authoritarian – integral ideology is then just around the corner. I mean opening up your own views to specialists in the various fields (postmodernism, evolutionary biology, political science – anything) who can reflect and respond to your proposals. When it comes to the evaluation of Wilber's work, Wilber himself obviously cannot be the one in charge. A strong urge to promote a certain view of life doesn't go very well with objectivity. For that, a different type of discourse is needed – based on quiet reflection and an open mind that is eager to learn and not only to justify its own beliefs, a mind that listens to critics (e.g. Meyerhoff), and even to sceptics (e.g. Falk). Yes, especially to those who disagree. A mind which can acknowledge mistakes and can backup confident assertions with solid arguments. All set within a free communication and discussion of ideas, in the public sphere. But that – obviously and unfortunately – is still an integral bridge too far.”
CONRAD GOEHAUSEN: “The fact is, Wilber's Integral Movement is probably never going to catch on beyond the rather small sub-culture that has already developed around it. Most "movements" are lucky to get even that far, so one has to credit Wilber for at least that much. But if these folks are going to get upset because he isn't recognized as the Second Coming (or anything remotely similar) they are in for a lifetime of disappointment. Let's face it, first off, the Integral Movement is predominantly an elitist intellectual movement that is destined to remain unattractive and uninteresting to anyone who is not specifically geared towards exactly this kind of thing. It requires a huge investment of intellectual time and energy to become even remotely conversant in its ideas, and even then, one could hardly begin to explain what those ideas are. Wilber himself dismisses critics who haven't spent years and years carefully reading every line of his works, and following its development step by step through countless iterations. Whether that's a valid defense against criticism, it's an insurmountable barrier to common appreciation. Who can possibly adopt a viewpoint, even casually, that is so inscrutably obscure? (…) Wilber of course suffers from that very problem. He writes endlessly on countless topics, but he doesn't have a core message that can be easily explained in a single terse sentence. (…) Wilber simply cannot do that. It's not his character or his destiny. And for that reason, the "Integral Movement" isn't actually a movement, because it has no center, and no core message, and it isn't going anywhere. (…) if anything can intelligently be said about why Christianity succeeded so well over the centuries it is because of this internal coherence in its message. Can Wilber or the Integral Movement be said to contain so powerful and precise a message for anyone to hear? I don't think so. (…) I'd suggest there is no core message. Instead, there is a wide array of many messages, many viewpoints, many interesting things to think about or consider, all of which can serve to stimulate one's thinking, but none of which leads to any single answer or direction. Which is all fine and good to some degree, but it's not how movements, large or small, gain traction. A movement has to have a specific vector of force, otherwise it simply falls to the ground and is stepped over by those who have a real goal in mind. The Integral Movement as it now stands is primarily a critical appreciation of a large set of ideas, rather than a focused concentration upon any one idea. In fact, it seems philosophically opposed to the very idea of concentrating on any one idea, (…) So instead the Integral Movement tends to default to personalities, primarily that of Wilber himself (…), which is self-defeating if your goal is to create a wide cultural and intellectual movement. People need to focus on something if they are going to create a movement. If there's no specific goal to focus on, they turn to the personality of the leader, and focus on that. Which is why the Integral Movement always seems to come back to Wilber himself and his own personality. It's inevitable given the nature of his ideas, which have no real direction, except to revolve around himself. And thus his followers allow their attention to revolve around Wilber himself, rather than on his ideas, which isn't the case in a real intellectual "movement". (…) With Wilber, there is simply no equivalent to the messages of Christianity or Ramana Maharshi. There is simply a call to be intellectually critical and strive for some kind of "integrated" goal, but this goal is never defined, never described, and never actually realized by anyone. It's just a process for thinking critically, and that's not the kind of thing a movement can ever be based on. Perhaps, if one thinks critically long enough, one might come up with a central truth that has real force to it, but this simply hasn't happened yet in the Integral Movement, and if it hasn't happened yet, it likely never will. That's what the Buddha did. He sat under the Bodhi tree, and he thought critically about everything in his experience, until he achieved enlightenment. Once he did that, he didn't go around merely telling people to think critically, he told them what he'd discovered in the process of thinking critically. He told them about nirvana, and the Four Noble truths, (…) the Noble-Eightfold Path." That prescription is about as simple as can be, and it explains why so many people have become Buddhists over the years. Part of the problem, of course, is that the Integral Movement hasn't even figured out what it's supposed to be, much less what its core message is. Is it a religion? Is it a philosophy? Is it an educational process? Is it a self-help course? Is it a spiritual path? Is it a way to enlightenment? Is it a formula for solving problems? (…) The biggest problem of course is this central concern and motive that the Integral Movement must somehow move, grow, expand, gain mainstream cred, etc. Why should anyone care about these, even those who practice it? Why should Wilber care? It reveals a kind of deep insecurity in one's ideas, that one would need large numbers of people to accept them in order to feel good about it all. It's not as if having these ideas has made some huge difference in anyone's life. There are no enlightened Integralists out there, no stunning examples of human or spiritual giants who have emerged from the Integral Movement. After all, that's how these things tend to grow—by creating human role models for people to emulate. One can hardly emulate Wilber, after all, (…) Wilber is useful for people who like books, and like critically appreciating books, but don't have time to read them all. (…) But the very idea that one is going to get great wisdom from reading books is simply foolishness written in scholastic hubris. One does not get much more than a few pointers from books. That makes them useful, but insufficient. Even the greatest scriptures can do no more than point one in the right direction. (…) The great message of Ramana was that one must find the truth in oneself, by oneself, as oneself. There is no great book that will do it for you, no map of consciousness you can use to find this out, no lectures or seminars or coaching that will do it for you, no magazine subscriptions, no workshops and integral business models that can do it, nothing but the examination of one's own self. As Buddha said, be a light unto yourself, and a refuge unto yourself as well. (…) For Buddha, a whole tradition developed, spontaneously, focused on this core practice of still self-examination. But Wilber is no Buddha, no Ramana, (…) One of the things Walsh mentions in his article is a tendency among Integralists to become egotistical about their level or stage or path, and he argues that they should let these concerns go. Which is good advice. The problem, of course, is that what attracts many people to Wilber's ideas in the first place is the notion of being at the "cutting edge" of religion and philosophy—in other words, being ahead of everyone else. So it's no wonder that it encourages a competitive attitude, a need to constantly improve oneself to stay ahead of others, to move through stages and levels and views to get to the very top of the pack, so as to always remain "on the cutting edge". It's no wonder that those in the movement tend to look down on those not in it, and to think of themselves as superior to the masses, and yet envious of those who do appeal to the masses. There's a love-hate relationship with the rest of the world, and a desire to convert it in order to relieve the tension of one's own insecurity. This is something I'm very familiar with from my years in Adidam, which if anything was worse than the Integral movement in trying to establish itself as the greatest spiritual movement in the world. It's a common characteristic of most cults, which always position themselves above the rest, as the leading force of spirituality or wisdom or whatever their fantasy might be. And it's one of the things about the Integral Movement which puts it in the cult category, (…) Why Wilber or the Integral Movement would want to become part of the mainstream is beyond me, except that it may not have any core ideas or principles to begin with, that it would fear losing or compromising. Instead, it wants to become a business model, a money-making enterprise, a Tony Robbins infomercial for the alt-religion crowd, in order to distract itself from its lack of core values, and a core purpose. What is revealed in this "movement" is something very similar to what one finds in Adidam, in other messianic or missionary cults, in almost every "movement" no matter how idealistic—the will to power, to enlarge oneself, to take over neighboring territory, to gain lebensraum, to convert others to one's own viewpoint, to externalize one's own internal sense of self, to make it "real" in the exterior world, through the act of converting others to one's views. (…) So the common solution to our internal insecurity and sense of unreality is to convert others to think as we do. If others around us think as we do, it makes us feel better about ourselves. It makes us feel real. The ego needs this kind of external affirmation, because all it has are thoughts, ideas, notions, subjective feelings, and these seem deeply insubstantial to us until they externalized. So we feel a deep need not only to express ourselves to others, but to have other people express the same thoughts and feelings to us. (…) The problem, of course, comes in when you've actually staked your livelihood on creating a "movement" of some kind out of these externalized insecurities. Then we have people who not only need widespread acceptance for psychological and egoic reasons, they also need it for monetary reasons, to pay the rent and eat. Then you get the kinds of complicated corrupting forces that combine both conceptual insecurity and material greed, and that's a recipe for disaster. It doesn't matter at that point how strongly one tries to maintain one's integrity, it is bound to fail. (…) This is how movements become deranged and derailed, and end up cults without intending to, even trying hard to avoid that fate. (…) I have no objection to Wilber writing books and making a healthy living doing so. But to make that into a business, a movement, with an agenda and a whole money-making institutional culture behind it, is a big mistake. In my view, Wilber should simply end this entire Integral Institute and every associated enterprise, and just do what he does best, which is read books and write about them and have lots of friends who do the same.”
BRIAN HINES: “When I got through reading "The Second Face of God," I'd reached a clear conclusion: Wilber and Cohen aren't aiming to go beyond the limitations of religiosity in their quest for an Integral spirituality; they're out to found a new religion -- with themselves as the worshipful objects of devotion. Of course, this won't be a surprise to anyone who has paid attention to the steadily increasing signs of cult behavior in the Integral community, as documented by Integral World. (…) First, Wilber and Cohen assume that God is real without offering up any evidence that this is true. They don't feel that they have to, because in the Integral scheme everything is true. That's why it's integral: nothing is left out, no matter how crazy some notion might be. (…)Wilber and Cohen talk about how important it is for people to embrace the second person "I/Thou" relationship with God -- which is, of course, exactly what Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are all about. Which, it turns out, includes Andrew Cohen and Ken Wilber. But before I document their desire to be worshiped in much the same fashion as they want God to be, here's what they say about the need to bend one's knee before God. (…)After all, their life mission is to bring about an evolution of consciousness through the magic of the Integral Vision. Their magazine is filled with offers to attend workshops, buy books and videos, and make donations to the EnlightenNext movement. If Wilber and Cohen aren't viewed as the elevated dispensers of spiritual wisdom that they claim to be in the bios that accompanied the "Second Face of God" article, their revenue stream could suffer. (…) Ego-loss apparently isn't part of the qualifications for being a guru or pandit, because Wilber bemoans people who just don't understand how important it is to bend their knees and accept the authority of teachers like him. (…) Cohen coerced donations from disciples, in one case to the tune of $2 million. His students were slapped, ridiculed, made to do thousands of prostrations before his photo, forced to immerse themselves in a near-freezing lake for an hour, and other humiliations. (…) In another article in the same EnlightenNext issue, Cohen talks about how important it is for students to submit to the teacher's authority, since hierarchy is the nature of the cosmos according to Integral philosophy. (…) That's just what wife-beaters say, along with would-be gurus like Andrew Cohen and Ken Wilber: I'm hurting you for your own good; you deserve it. Well, I say: bullshit to that. Run, don't walk, from Cohen and Wilber, EnlightenNext, and any attempt to entice you into a religious cult masquerading as Integral enlightenment. What they're pushing is old-fashioned religion in a New Age guise. Cohen and Wilber are the high priests, and they're looking for submissive acolytes who will worship them and submit to their authority.”
Elliot Benjamin: “There have been a number of people who have expressed serious concerns and misgivings regarding the cult dangers of philosopher Ken Wilber's Integral Institute. These criticisms have generally focused upon Wilber's harsh comments regarding scholars who disagree with his philosophical opinions. This has become increasingly more evident with the development of the Integral Institute website and especially Ken Wilber's private website, although there was quite an uproar in academic circles in the aftermath of Wilber's aggressive and condescending remarks toward his critics in both his 1995 acclaimed book “Sex, Ecology, Spirituality” and his 2003 novel “Boomeritis.” (…) it appears that with the launching and development of Integral Institute over the past few years, there is now sufficient reason to examine both the asserted guru characteristics of Ken Wilber as well as cult dangers of Integral Institute. (…) I did not think that Wilber had a real understanding of the cult dangers of certain new age spiritual organizations, especially Scientology, both from my meeting with him as well as from his writings in the book Spiritual Choices which he personally recommended that I read (…) I was gradually becoming aware that there were strong viewpoints in both Ken Wilber and Integral Institute that I did not completely agree with, including Wilber's openness to gurus, appreciation of diverse and contradictory political stances, his condescending attack on the “new age” sensitivity people, rather viscously referred to by Wilber as the “Mean Green Meme”. (…) I found myself quite naturally talking about my recent involvement with Ken Wilber and Integral Institute. Yes--I was starting to think about the possibility of there being cult dangers in the organization. (…) Integral Institute is most definitely run by Ken Wilber in what I consider to be a benevolent authoritarian manner. I do not see any phasing out of Wilber's leadership during his lifetime. Thus, the lack of historical continuity and phasing out of leadership are red flags to me for Integral Institute in Ken Wilber's own Integral model. (…) I would say that there are definitely things to be cautious and observant about in Integral Institute, not the least of which is Ken Wilber's strong ego and harsh criticisms of many of those who disagree with him. ”
Conrad Goehausen: “Just read Wilber's reply to Jim's post on the Lightmind Wilber Forum and I must say, a pretty nasty piece of work. Is Wilber aware that by getting so hysterical about his critics he is putting people off, even if he is right? (…) I still find his response on the issue of spiritual development to reveal an “undeveloped” character. (…) It's easy to get all red hot and rajasic over some critic, and to attribute the worst of intentions to them, and to write them off completely. (…) Why not respond to critics from sattvas, with a balanced, unthreatened, non-defensive posture of helping them see the error of their ways, if that is the case, or finding one's own errors, if that is the case. (…) It's not the end of the world if a critic is wrong, or even hostile, or makes mistakes (…) No need to attribute the worst of intentions to one's critics, (…) Wilber says reputations are at stake. That's just an easy rationalization for taking out the flamethrowers. Wilber's reputation is not at stake. His theories are at stake, that's all. So what if he's wrong on a few counts? No one has a reputation for being perfect. The problems with his reputation come from him, not from his critics, from explosions like this that give the impression that Wilber is imbalanced and insecure about his theories.”
Jim Chamberlain: “I know this will sound terribly arrogant, but someday you will look back and see how unbelievably self-indulgent, narcissistic, and foolish Wilber is behaving (…) it sounds horribly immature, rather cultic, and totally ridiculous and vulgar. Even more, they will tell you that they can't believe someone as smart and thoughtful and into spirituality as you, would be associated with it! (…) Folks, outlining how and why this is classic cultic behavior is too elementary to even go into. Just pick up any book on the subject, or go read about the true root of all this: Adi Da. (…) They only work in guru and cultic environments. Ken, PLEASE, you are the one who needs to STOP. Is there anyone at II with the courage to tell him this? (…) Da and Daists play these cards. Cohen and his loyalists play these cards. And now Wilber and some of his loyalists are playing them. Is the pattern here not painfully obvious? Da, Cohen, Wilber. (…) But that idealisim usually has a structure very similar to that of the "perfect master" -- archaic and narcissistic. (…) Further, its narcissistic core is evidenced in the arrogance of the stance itself: we have the only (or the best) way, and we will change the world, that is, we will impose our ideas on the poor ignorant folks out there. (…) Wilber in June, 2006: We have the best way, we are in the elite 2%, we are above the herd, we will change the world. Like he said in 1983, archaic, arrogant, and narcissistic, and I would add grandiosity to the mix. The herd mentality that Wilber should concern himself with is the herd mentality he encourages in his young followers, the groupthink, the in-group versus out-group dynamic, the loading of the language with jargon and psychobabble, the arrogance, narcissism, and grandiosity.”
Geoffrey D. Falk: “You will notice that nowhere in that rant does Wilber address the reality that a large percentage of the criticisms which he brushes off as being “first-tier” are taking him to task for having provably misrepresented the purported “established facts” in the fields which he claims (falsely) to be integrating. (…) thus apparently licensing him to utterly/unprofessionally misrepresent the ideas in those same fields ... and thus actually showing, for anyone who wishes to see, that he either hasn’t understood them or is deliberately and dishonestly misleading his readers. If you can see agreement in fields where it provably does not exist, you are not second/third-tier, you are delusional. (…) By the way, he not only misspelled ressentiment, but it appears that he’s consumed by it (…) Wilber is losing respect even from those academics who used to think he deserved his high standing in the transpersonal/integral community. Indeed, Wilber’s childish response makes him look much worse, in his character, than any criticism of him by others could ever have done. Further, consider that Wilber himself cannot have spent much more than “3 full hours” studying David Bohm’s work before stupidly imagining himself to be in a position to trash it for purportedly not meshing with his transpersonal fantasies. Certainly, he hasn’t spent even three full nanoseconds actually understanding Bohm’s ideas. (…)Wilber is royally fooling himself if he imagines that any of the recent criticisms by myself, Meyerhoff, or Andrews, for example, are based in envy, lack of “second-tier” perspective, or resentment deriving from his ill-gotten “success.” (…) Is that what we are now to Wilber’s loyal followers? “Terrorist” egos? Being cut down “compassionately”? For trying to warn people that Wilber’s teachings and community are not what they appear to be? (…)The point of putting these debunkings of Wilber’s work into print is to do what one can to prevent others, not merely from wasting their time on Wilber’s fabrications, and not merely from meditating to the point of developing clinical psychoses when they think they’re working toward psychological stage-growth, but also from throwing their lives away on the likes of Adi Da and Andrew Cohen, based on Wilber’s foolish endorsement of them. If one were working “for” the integral movement, that same attitude would be called “compassion.” (…)As recently as three years ago, I was still considering donating money to the Integral Institute; it was only in documenting Wilber’s provable and gross misrepresentations of David Bohm’s work that I began to sour on him, and since then to find his “work” shot through with the same bald cluelessness, which can only qualify as either academic dishonesty or professional incompetence. (…) And again, it is Wilber who is sophomorically miming masturbation in public, and considering that to be funny. Where is his “decency”? Or his sense of embarrassment at being caught, repeatedly, with his own “pants down,” blatantly and unconscionably fabricating information? (…) I take (Wilber) placing of himself at the “vanguard of the greatest social transformation in the history of humankind” as an accurate statement of his narcissistic delusions regarding his own value to the world. It’s fully in line with his self-promoting use, within his own books and websites, of quotations from “experts” as to how brilliant and important he and his work allegedly are (…). In the end, Ken is trying to silence critics/outsiders by asking that they simply STOP, which is all he really wants at this point. He asks that they take a moratorium on judging others, on loathing and condemning him. Notice that none of this addresses anything of any real substance; it’s just an attempt to bring it to an end, with him still on top as the teacher. (…) In real academic and/or spiritual circles (or within an adult community) such cards are considered completely and totally out of bounds. They only work in guru and cultic environments. Ken, PLEASE, you are the one who needs to STOP. Is there anyone at II with the courage to tell him this?.... The herd mentality that Wilber should concern himself with is the herd mentality he encourages in his young followers, the groupthink, the in-group versus out-group dynamic, the loading of the language with jargon and psychobabble, the arrogance, narcissism, and grandiosity. It is truly wonderful that all of that cultic behavior is becoming so clear, through (Wilber) own actions, that only people in complete denial could fail to see it. (…) The provably dishonest and/or professionally incompetent Wilber (…) That is integral narcissism, in spades. (…) The degree to which the Integral Emperor has become detached from reality, here, is truly astonishing. (…) From (Wilber) recent childish blogging, to his misjudging of his most cogent critics as “morons” compared to his own “brilliance,” to his know-it-all nature, to his insensitive “forgiving” of others (and simultaneous failure to ask for forgiveness himself) when he is clearly the one in the wrong, to his haughtiness and arrogance, to his paranoid (i.e., disproportionate to reality) feelings of being loathed and condemned, to his obvious need for undeserved unconditional admiration, to his certainty, from his own misinterpreted experiences, that paranormal phenomena and mystical winds exist—implying the magical ability of his thoughts to influence the world around him—and through to his unconscionable manipulation and exploitation of others to ensure his own “greatness.” (…)Wilber is blessed to not have to retreat into complete fantasy in order to live all that out: He has already created the “reality” of the Integral Institute in which to act out his delusions of greatness and entitlement (to unconditional admiration, etc.). (…)If, after becoming aware of Meyerhoff’s and my own work (etc.) in exposing Wilber for the manipulative fool that he is, you still don’t get what Ken Wilber is up to, well, then yes, I cannot see any other conclusion than that there must be powerful factors in your own psychology blinding you to that reality—and those are indeed some of the same factors which get people into, and life-long stuck in, even the worst recognized cults. And if, after having had it demonstrated to you that a person’s “philosophy” is filled with “half-truths and lies,” and that even with those gross and inexcusable violations of truth it cannot manage to be self-consistent, you still continue to accept that worldview as being valid ... well, in any other field of knowledge you certainly would not be regarded as thinking clearly or competently. (…) If you can love a raging narcissist, who by all believable reports will “love” you back only so long as you are useful to him, more power to you. But even then, don’t get suckered into his “theories,” because as soon as you go back to primary sources to verify their supporting claims, it all falls apart, and the dishonesties and/or professional incompetence of their author become obvious for anyone with eyes to see. (…)the bullshit and cultic manipulation in which Wilber has been overtly indulging, and correspondingly being utterly unwilling or unable to evaluate that critically, and see it for what it really is. Overall, that is indeed extremely cultic behavior, both on the part of the leader and his followers. (…)All of that is a far cry from Wilber’s simplistic, sadly manipulative and narcissistically paranoid framing of the issue”
Ken Wilber: “Meanwhile, the leading-edge green cultural elites—upper-level liberal government, virtually all university teachers (in the humanities), technology innovators, human services professions, most media, entertainment, and most highly liberal thought leaders—had continued to push into green pluralism/relativism—'what's true for you is true for you, and what's true for me is true for me....”
JORGE N. FERRER: “My second Journal of Transpersonal Psychology (JTP) publication, The perennial philosophy revisited, (…) To my great surprise, I learnt that Wilber tried to prevent its publication by directly calling the new editor on the phone. (And this was not the last time that I discovered he sought to actively censor the publication of my work). When Puhakka naturally refused to comply, Wilber insisted that she should print one paper favorable of my perspective for every paper you print that is critical of it. Once again, Puhakka refused to comply—I trust there is no need to argue that such a request is not only obviously unacceptable but also literally unheard of in the academic world. One or two days later, Wilber (2000a) sent a message to the organizers of a transpersonal conference in Assisi, Italy, announcing that he has ’ceased... affiliation with the Transpersonal Psychology movement (p. 1), that JTP might collapse within a year (p. 1) (after giving an incorrect number about its circulation), and that the moment someone suggested ‘transpersonal’ as the name, that moment the field was dead (p. 2). As he did later in related essays posted in the web, he then introduced his own integral psychology as the way forward for serious students of psychology and spirituality. Before I go further: I am not suggesting that the above event was the only or even main factor in Wilber's departure from the field. It is very likely that the ReVision conversation of 1996—collected in Rothberg and Sean Kelly's (1998) Ken Wilber in Dialogue—which revealed strong disagreements and even interpersonal conflicts between Wilber and major transpersonal theorists, paved the way for his decision. In an online Shambhala interview, The demise of transpersonal psychology, Wilber (2002a; see also Wilber, 2000b) outlined the reasons why he left the field and considered transpersonal psychology to be dead. Those included that psychology as a science of interiors was dead, that transpersonal psychology had become ideological, and that the field was fraught in quarrels and disagreements. These reasons were suspicious, especially considering the contemporary vigor of depth psychology, Wilber's propensity to label as’ ideological. (…) In an apparent attempt to deviate attention from those recent events, Wilber claimed to have stopped using the term transpersonal to refer to his work in 1983; however, this claim is contradicted by any cursory survey of his post 1983 writings. In Grace and Grit (1991), for example, he described himself as the foremost theorist in transpersonal psychology (p. 22); in his contribution to Walsh and Vaughan's Paths Beyond Ego (1993), he portrayed transpersonal psychology as the only field that offered a comprehensive vision of the human being (Wilber, 1993); and in his JTP article, An informal overview of transpersonal studies (1995b), he located integral psychology as an approach within transpersonal psychology. Naturally, those of us aware of the sequence of events leading to his departure from the field did not give much credibility to his diatribe, but for most transpersonal scholars both in the USA and worldwide his departure from the field was, in Michael Washburn's (2003) words, a seismic event (p. 6). Although Wilber's attempt to assassinate transpersonal psychology failed, it pushed the field into an identity crisis from which it is still recovering. This is in part why I have decided to go public with this information after all these years. I frankly think the time is ripe to set the record straight.”
JOHN HERON: “Wilber's view of the human being and the human condition is a half-truth, hence baneful and oppressive. (…) Wilber starts off his reply with an elaborate and self-righteous protest about my few pages of sustained and trenchant criticism, and then proceeds to respond with a classic essay in spiritual vulgarity, laced with sardonic abuse, acid mockery and patronising scorn. There is a something quite like hypocrisy at work here, from someone who is a self-appointed spokesperson for what he thinks is the highest spiritual system there is. However that may be, to preach Agape on the upper ramparts of the system, then descend into the battlefield to defend it with pointed malice, does not entitle his pot to comment on my smudgy kettle. (…) Now here I have noted that, in responding to his critics, Wilber is prone not only to be something of a bully, but also a bit of a cheat. He has a tendency to slither off the point at issue with an egregious combination of dogmatic bluster and poor-fool innuendo. He is something of a specialist in pseudo-rebuttal. (…) But dogmas are blind to their own inherent contradictions. (…) It is an absolutely basic dogma in Wilber's system. (…)It is intrinsically narcissistic. (…) Wilber equates transformative spiritual practice with violence. The only de facto self we have is a separate self which in 'its innermost condition' is made up of 'screaming terror'. And it is this terrified self that has to be 'grabbed by its throat and literally throttled to death'. No compassion here for a terrrified ripple of self-alienated divinity, just ruthless extermination. This, I think, is where it all goes wrong. No wonder Wilber is so reknowned for being ruthlessly aggressive in defending his ideas. Someone out there must be made to suffer for all the mayhem going on within. Indeed, Wilber's account of the separate self is self-locking against all criticism, for any such criticism will be seen as evidence that the critic is just fearfully clinging to his own separate self, and so due for a good dose of verbal abuse (…)to help him deconstruct his egoic contraction. Violence within, violence without, all in the name of enlightenment. Hence so often the underlying tone of what Wilber writes is one of scorn. I do not think violent murder is a very good metaphor for profound spiritual transformation. (…) This is subtle spiritual narcissism of the worst kind, the kind that is sustained by telling everyone else they are insecapably narcissistic. Everyone who falls for it, unawarely projects their own inward spiritual authority and autonomy on to the teacher of it, and thus inflates the teacher's spiritual narcissism further. (…) So Wilber can be very careless in following through the implications of his theories. And when he is blustering along treating his critic like a poor idiot, you can be pretty sure he is sliding the goal posts round the field. This kind of spiritual intimidation is not attractive. I think there are many other instances of this kind of thing in the remainder of Wilber's text. But it seems that the central and traditional spiritual dogmas that underpin Wilber's whole system of thought are virtually impervious to debate. (…) My impression of the work of Ken Wilber remains unchanged. At one level he is a spiritual dogmatist whose central dogmas combine into a baneful whole. (…) Wilber tries to characterize me as an egomaniacal, authoritarian command and control freak. (…) So then, is he looking in the mirror? After all, he seeks to command a wide range of knowledge in diverse fields, and then control it within theoretical constraints derived from a few basic spiritual dogmas (…). I have pretty much come to the end of my interest in writing about the work of Ken Wilber.”
Frank Visser: “The primary question should be: DOES WILBER = TRUTH? And where does our loyalty lie: Wilber or Truth? That's an entirely different question. Much more difficult to answer. But much more rewarding. This question has not been posed and answered enough in the integral community. (…) The Wilber Complex—the tendency to take him on his word and see criticism as an attack on a beautiful and inspiring intellectual framework. The general attitude towards criticism usually is a pervasive defensiveness, not to say paranoia. How can such a beautiful system of philosophy not be true? After all, we have Truth on our side, or God, or Eros, haven't we? Critics must surely suffer from shadow related problems… Perhaps they are just Wilber wannebee's, trying to get famous by attacking Wilber. Obviously, I have suffered from such a Wilber Complex in the years when I discovered his work in the early eighties, concluded that here was a man who “understood it all”, and I could not understand why the rest of the academic world wasn't taking any notice of him. They must have been under the influence of some anti-spiritual ideology, reductionism or any other delusion, to not see the brilliance of this man. I suspect many of you resonate with this sentiment. (…) At the third Integral Theory Conference (2013) a further step was made to loosen up the bond between Wilber and Integral. By inviting two other integral heavy weights (Roy Baskhar and Edgar Morin), the Wilber monopoly in the integral field could be broken up and his model could be opened up to alternative conceptions. (…) It has always puzzled me that even these elaborate and careful criticisms of central parts of Wilber's model go unnoticed by Wilber and his closest students. It is typical of a certain intellectual anemia on the part of the integral community when it comes to critically assessing the validity of Wilber's often overconfident statements.”
G. Falk: “In my own case, regarding the Wilber police, from the beginning of my published debunking of Ken Wilber’s false claims and consistently inadequate research, the most loyal members of his commu-nity have predictably reacted very negatively to being informed of the truth about his work. Foremost among those integral experts and censors has been a follower employed as an “education analyst” in Wheaton, Illinois, going by the online name of Goethean. His (2005) response to my exposing of Ken Wilber’s indefensible support of the long-discredited claims of Intelligent Design boiled down to this: Geoffery Falk is an asshole who is not to be trusted on these matters whatsoever. (…) Since that same individual functions proudly as a self-appoint-ed guardian of the Ken Wilber Wikipedia page, no one should be surprised to find that, for many months, he succeeded in blocking any mention of my debunking of Wilber from that public space, even when the relevant links to my work had been placed there by interested third parties with whom I have had no contact. Immediately after my first attempt at getting those critiques listed on that Wikipedia page, Goethean went through all of my other attempted contributions to the debunking of other spiritual leaders on Wikipedia, removing any of them that hadn’t already been deleted by other censors equal to himself. (…) As usual in the Wilberian community, however, there is not even a hint given there as to how I have allegedly misunderstood Ken Wilber’s ideas; (…) It is obvious (and completely predictable from basic human psychology) that the vast majority Wilberians have no more interest than the average “good Christian” would in doing the “archaeology” of going back to the original sources upon which their respective systems of beliefs are based. (…) No surprise, then, that those psychological realities ap-ply just as much to the “trans-rational” integral community as to the “pre-rational” Christian one, and produce a comparable milieu, with members of both in-groups imagining themselves to be reasoning clearly from established facts, when all they are actually doing is rationalizing hazily from a set of (ineptly and/or intention-ally) distorted principles (…). One does not have to look hard at all to find, in Wilber’s integral community, the reluctance to question his ideas, the marginalizing of anyone who does dare to debate his edicts, the paranoia which sees even cogent and completely reasonable questioning as an “attack,” and the absence of dialogue with outside perspectives. (…) Closed-society in-group dynamics, particularly when combined with promises/expectations of enlightenment/salvation, have a way of reducing both leaders and followers to behaving in the worst pre-rational and conformist ways, regardless of how loftily they may test or behave in normal circumstances. (…) Cult members, more often than not, are simply religion addicts who would believe absolutely anything that got them into a saved group (where any overt attempts at mind control, though those most certainly do exist, are almost overkill) (…).Ken Wilber, for all his glaring flaws as both a pretend-scholar and a desperately insecure human being who will brook no criticism of his ideas without attempting to discredit the enemy as being too spiritually unevolved to under-stand his Great Notions, has never been the worst among those “leading” figures. Rather, he is simply the one who makes the most quantitative statements. And thus, he is also the one who can be the most easily shown to be consistently wrong and/or dishonest, via simple research which any intelligent undergraduate should be able to do.”
Scott Parker: “Over the last several years, Wilber and his fans have become so fluent in the language of Integral, Integral-this and Integral-that, that they have effectively created an in-group/out-group scenario reminiscent of the blue meme’s good and evil, that they are so (rightly) critical of. You’re either for Integral or against it. (And if you have a different definition of Integral, it’s wrong....) Unfortunately, instead of engaging critics and showing some humility, Wilber is further insulating all things Integral. And the whole movement around him now appears destined to become, isolated as it is, a cult, and soon after, lose whatever relevance it may have had in the scholarly world”
International Buddhist Ethics Committee: In 1987, Dick Anthony and Ken Wilber published Spiritual Choices: The Problem of Recognizing Authentic Paths to Inner Transformation, a work where basically people is advised on the fact that there are some cults that are less harmful or less ‘brainwashing’ than others. Anthony’s religious allegiance belongs to Meher Baba, who claimed to be a messiah with healing powers like those of Jesus and he even said he could raised the dead. In Spiritual Choices, which Ken Wilber publicly supported (even until 2003), some cults publicly known for being considered dangerous or criminal were recommended to be followed by people. This is as dangerous and an act of complicity with crime, because most of these groups really cause significant damages on people, as for example: the Unification Church [i.e., the Moonies, whose founder ‘was convicted of conspiracy to obstruct justice and conspiracy to file false tax returns and sentenced to a term in federal prison’ (Singer, 2003)], the Hare Krishna movement, The Way International and Church of Scientology. So, when somebody with power of influence of the magnitude of Wilber’s recommends people seeking the Truth to trust in said groups, by stating that some of them may be authentic paths of inner transformation, this is very dangerous and verge on apology of crime.
Ken Wilber: “[Tom] Robbins and [Dick] Anthony’s own contribution [to In Gods We Trust (1982)] includes a superb introduction—perhaps the best single chapter in the anthology; a complete and devastating critique of the brainwashing model; and an insightful report on the Meher Baba community.”
Geoffrey D. Falk: “Trungpa, [and] Satchidananda (…) were all explicitly placed in Anthony’s safest category—of multilevel, technical monism. In his second-safest grouping (multilevel, charismatic monism) we find Meher Baba, Neem Karoli Baba, Muktananda, Chinmoy and Adi Da. If those are safe spiritual leaders and communities, though, one shudders to think what dangerous ones might look like. One’s jaw drops further to find that, as late as 2003, Wilber has still been recommending Spiritual Choices to others as a means of distinguishing safe groups from potentially problematic ones. (…) Interestingly, from the early ’70s until the collapse of his empire and IRS-inspired flight into Mexico in 1991, Werner Erhard reigned as the “guru of the human potential movement.” Indeed, even in Anthony, Ecker and Wilber’s near-worthless (1987) Spiritual Choices, the interview questions (led by John Welwood) put to Erhard centered only on whether this training granted an “enlightenment” comparable to that purportedly realized through traditional spiritual disciplines. That is, there was not even the slightest whisper of any concern expressed regarding its safety, in spite of those authors’ own later characterization of the interview as being “spirited.” (The interview itself was conducted in 1981—half a dozen years after Brewer’s  exposé of the alleged negative effects reportedly experienced by various est participants.) (…) The entirely non-mystical, twentieth-century, late Russian-American philosopher Ayn Rand (d. 1982), too, apparently man-aged to create a personality cult around herself. Loyalty there was evidenced to the point where one of her sincere followers reportedly floated (in the late ’60s) the idea of murder as a means of dealing with an unfaithful (and otherwise married) former lover of the homely, yet eminently rational, Ms. Rand (Shermer, 1997). The endangered ex-lover in question was the dashing Natha-iel Branden—Rand’s “intellectual heir,” to whom Atlas Shrugged was dedicated. (The book itself was the “greatest human achieve-ment in the history of the world,” according to Rand and Branden.) Together, they encouraged followers of Rand to consider them as being “the two greatest intellects on the planet.” Branden himself was later to host a delightful dinner, in the mid-’80s, for his good friend, Ken Wilber (1991). Branden is, further, another one of the founding members of Wilber’s Integral Institute.”
EVIDENCE 13: Right-Wing Politics
Ken Wilber: “To put it in the bluntest terms possible, this means around 70% of the world's population is Nazis. (…) And please, no politically correct tsk-tsking here. I'm talking about some of my best friends and most of my family (certainly all of the cousins). (…)Every time somebody somewhere has sex, they are producing a fresh supply of Nazis”
David Lane: “Calling seventy percent of the world's population Nazis doesn't progress the Integral conversation so much as unnecessarily sink it to sloganeering. Color coding groups of people has a long history, dating back to the varnas in India, where classes of people were socially stratified into four major divisions (…) We have already seen how insidious color-coding has been when referring to race. Is it really that enlightening when employed in today's post-modern context relating to levels of consciousness, particularly when it is used as a form of intellectual leveling (or worse, a not so subtle cognitive put-down)? (…) By doing such, it makes it easier to pinpoint once again some of Ken Wilber's major intellectual weaknesses, including his persistent tendency for hyperbole, misuse of statistics, and color-coded stereotyping. (…) Wilber rails against scientific materialism and myopic reductionism, but in the process naively indulges in his own New Age form of it by repeatedly reducing a set of people and a set of ideas to a hierarchical potpourri of color-coding. Thus in Wilber's schema, instead of patiently and exhaustively engaging an argument at each turn, he resorts to chroma casting in such generalist and dismissive terms that essential nuances get lost in his premature labeling. Reducing complex human intention and behavior to amber, red, or orange, etc., may be fun and an easy way to catalog variations along a spectrum, but it is dangerously lazy. It is also a form of reductionism par excellence, despite it protestations to the contrary. Wilber's chroma casting is a shorthand way of “moving on” and not looking at the odd sequence that doesn't fit into the preset model. We have already seen him do this repeatedly with his misrepresentations of evolutionary biology and his over-the-top appraisements of such nefarious teachers as Marc Gafni where he looks askance at those actions that don't dovetail with his earlier panegyric. Just take Andrew Cohen as one very telling instance. Wilber put his credentials on the line indulging and praising this self styled guru to the hilt, but when Andrew Cohen was shown to be much less than advertised, we hear basically nothing but silence from Wilber on it.”
Michael Winkelman: “The transpersonal models of Walsh and Wilber consider temporally later consciousness traditions to be more advanced than the earlier ones, and more evolved in terms of a hierarchy of evolution. (…) Stalin and Hitler "evolved" after Jesus Christ and Buddha, but few would consider the former to be superior or "more evolved." Clearly something besides the more recent or historically prior emergence of practices must be used for ranking levels of achievement and differences. This raises the question of what criteria or values are to be used to assess levels of difference. A long standing assumption of Western thought is that technological superiority provides the basis for evaluating ranking societies. (…) But physical dominance and technological superiority certainly does not confer what most would agree was an inherent superiority or more evolved standing. Hitler and Nazi Germany held military and political superiority in Europe in the early phases of World War II, but few would consider that to be evidence of their greater evolution of moral superiority. The nuclear arsenals of the US and Russia are technologically superior to the military armament of Switzerland. The capacity to militarily destroy an opponent (or the whole world in the case of nuclear weapons) does not, however, provide a basis for any absolute claims to moral superiority. Technological or technical superiority is not the only criterion for superiority and not self-evidently the ultimate criterion of evaluation. Claims of hierarchical evolution must address the question of what is evolving. What are the changes in form or function of consciousness which provide better adaptation, more effective solutions to problems, and a greater likelihood of survival? (…) The transpersonal theories have repeated the practice of assigning their forms a superior level of development, while discounting the legitimacy and equality of achievements in other cultures. (…) Greater technical or technological superiority does not necessarily constitute a more evolved state. A cigarette lighter is superior technology to a piece of flint, but the latter has a superior long term advantage in hunting and gathering societies.”
Frank Visser: “When 9/11 struck, Wilber (2001) reluctantly gave a reasoned response to this global crisis situation, phrased in the literary format of his Boomeritis novel. In his opinion, responses to the WTC disaster could be categorized using meme theory borrowed from Spiral Dynamics, so that all responses were possible or imaginable, from “Let's bomb them back to the Stone Age” (Red), “This is an assault on Western, Christian values” (Blue), “It was an attack on the heart of capitalism” (Orange), to “These terrorists are disadvantaged by Western colonization” (Green). Wilber even suggested spiritual responses to this event, one of them was the lofty and detached “What crisis?” Entertaining as these exercises might be, they don't provide insight into the complexities of the world situation and the deeper causes of world problems. (…) Even if one didn't agree with Bush and his fundamentalist worldview, Wilber implied, an integral view might support the War in Iraq for precisely this reason. (…) In a further email communication about the world crisis, Wilber (2003b) pointed to Tony Blair as the only world leader coming close to an integral position: Like the colossus at Rhodes, Blair has one foot in America and one foot in Europe, and heroically seems the only world leader attempting to keep that integration in existence. (…) A further considered response on Integral World came a few years later from Jose Vergara (2007), who focused on the supposed integral leadership qualities of Tony Blair, who had by then stepped down as prime minister. (…): There are basically three reasons why we cannot end this already too long essay right now and give Blair the award: Iraq, Iraq and Iraq. Yes, and it is such a big deal that I could have said 10 reasons and repeat it ten times. Among the negative consequences of the US intervention in Iraq Vergara mentions: Around 650.000 Iraqis killed according to The Lancet, around 70.000 according to the Iraq Body Count. Of course, these numbers are increasing rapidly on a daily basis; Almost 4000 coalition soldiers killed; Millions of refugees. The UN estimates that nearly 4 million Iraqis have been displaced by violence in their country, the vast majority of which have fled since 2003; State of Civil War in the country; Iraq turned into a great training center for terrorists and extremists from all over the Muslim world; Rather than undermining radical Islam, the Iraq war has legitimized it, in Iraq and beyond (the war has strengthened the religious extremists in Pakistan —a nuclear power— creating an extremely dangerous situation there); Severe degradation of America's moral standing (Abu Ghraib); The war has increased the risks of nuclear proliferation (having the Bomb is seen as insurance policy against possible preemptive attacks by the US —North Korea was not attacked); A cost (according to Stiglitz) ranging from slightly less than a trillion dollars to more than $2 trillion; Key Al-Qaeda leaders are still free. The war diverted efforts away from capturing Bin Laden; Deterioration of America's overall image in the world (Pew survey). While Blair is of course not responsible for all these negative side effects, Vergara concludes that “there were no good reasons to go to war.” Blair certainly was no Colossus of Rhodes. (…) Where was the integral analysis in all those years? When have major integralists ever been critical about the eagerness of father and son Bush and their neocon friends to go to war? Other critics (Carlson, 2008) have accused Wilber (and Beck for that matter) of having a bias against left-wing politics and harboring neo-conservative agenda.” 
JOE CORBETT: “Furthermore, in this context Wilber fails to mention that corporations are basically private tyrannies, and in western capitalism they constitute the vast majority of the economy. These private tyrannies also have overwhelming influence in the political process, thus making capitalist societies essentially corporate democracies, or “totalitarian societies with privatized characteristics”, in a variation on China’s “socialism” with Chinese characteristics. But none of these inconvenient truths are visible to an analysis that doesn’t include Justice, a perspective on the inter-objective relations of society, as a critical dimension, and in the case of Ken Wilber it is clearly the blind leading the blind. On the prospects of democracy, Jeff Salzman (who is horrified by the twitter-feed video beheadings of Westerners, but doesn’t seem to be bothered at all by the drone killings of Muslim women and children) says “we don’t need direct democracy” and that “representative democracy is better than direct democracy” because elites know better, and Ken agrees. However if direct democracy was the standard practice of governance, even with continued corporate propaganda in the media, polls consistently show that Americans would support things like a living minimum wage, no cuts to social security, single-payer universal health care, and policies that prioritize the environment over economic growth (http://pollingreport.com/). But for Wilber and Salzman, the fact that Kansas might ban the teaching of evolution in schools and Texas would outlaw abortion is important, whereas empowering people with the vote to make significant changes in their life and using that as a lesson in democracy and responsible self-governance is not. How else are people to self-develop if they don’t have their betters making decisions for them in a politically skewed and un-representative way? As for Wilber, he says he’s in agreement with Plato’s notion of democracy, where he also proposes an alternative in the philosopher-king who rules over the ignorant masses and is surrounded by his military protectors and business servants. Here one begins to wonder if this is an interview or an open session of Wilber’s psychoanalysis. (…)I guess for Jeff that means the integral society has already emerged at the global level under neo-liberal capitalism. We just need more of them, up to a 10% tipping-point when their values will diffuse to the rest of us, and then we’ll all finally see the virtues of free-trade, deregulation, and privatization along with our superiors. Ken is infected by this magical-thinking of the 10% as well, thinking the values of the “leading edge” automatically percolate to the masses when they reach the critical point of 10% of the population. (,,,)The cultural and political upheavals of the late 60s had been brewing for years in the political struggles of the civil rights, free speech, and anti-war movements. In other words, postmodern values were brought about through the struggles of political activism fighting for greater social justice, not by a magical demographic number. But an “integral” analysis without the dimension of Justice, as the inter-objective political and economic relations of society, is not likely to see this. In the final analysis, one wonders if Ken Wilber’s aversion to the “mean green meme” is an aversion to critical thinking more generally, particularly with regard to himself, and to issues of social justice surrounding some of his most powerful and wealthy client/patrons who operate out of the mean orange meme. What is clear is that Ken Wilber and Jeff Salzman have yet to reach their own tipping-point of a structural realization concerning social Justice and a truly, fully integral understanding of the world.”
Eric Towle: “I need to post an opinion of one panel discussion at the recent ITC 2015 [Integral Theory Conference]. I’ve been carrying this anger and disappointment around with me since the conference (…) The name of the panel discussion was: An Integral Consideration of Radical Islam. The panel was made up of Steve McIntosh, the moderator, and Said Dawlabani, Marie Pace, and Miriam Gabriel was supposed to be on as well but dropped out due to a disagreement with the moderator. She was replaced (…)Mr. McIntosh told the audience that these young Islamic men are radicalized though a philosophical opposition to the world embraced by us modern people living above them in, shall we call it: the green zone. As the discussion moved on the rest of the panelists concurred from their own limited realm of experience. It was at this point that a voice in my head remarked: wait a minute, did I just hear an integral leader and his chosen panelists basically agree with George W. Bush as to why radical Islam attacks the West? Yes, upon further reflection I have to say that I did. That’s right friends; (…) Is this where we’re at in the Integral movement? Really? It’s embarrassing to claim association with such a movement when people seen as respected voices express such terrible ignorance.”
Ken Wilber: "So there are our political choices of today's world: a healthy lower level (conservative) versus a sick higher level (liberal).”
Frank Visser: “In the first half of the '00s Wilber would elaborate on his political views rather casually on Integral Naked or Integral Life, in brief videos in which he showed himself as very critical of Left-wing politics, in so far as it denied interior reality and development and focused almost completely on oppressive structures of society. (…) Wilber's thinking about the subject (…) is that if 10% of the population reaches a certain higher stage, society as a whole will be transformed, because according to Wilber (or his alter ego in the novel) that 10% elite will be 10 times more efficient in solving the world's problems. A World Government was to be expected in twenty years, and a "Cultural Singularity" or "Transformation Point" in thirty years. (…) (There is) disconnectedness in these fictional reflections Wilber has offered.”
Ken Wilber: “The self-corrective drive of evolution will continue to push, and push, and push into existing affairs, driving more Trump-like “disasters” as evolution redoubles its efforts to force its way through these recalcitrant obstructions. (…) Understanding this election—as well as similar events now occurring all over the world—as a manifestation of a self-correcting drive of evolution itself, as it routes around a broken leading-edge green and attempts to restore the capacity of its leading-edge to actually lead (while also seriously starting to give birth to the next-higher leading-edge of integral itself) (…) In the deepest parts of our own being, each of us is directly one with this evolutionary current, this Eros, this Spirit-in-action.” (…) “Because nothing was true at all, there could be no true order, either, and hence no preferable direction forward. And so as the leading-edge of evolution collapsed in a performative contradiction, lost in aperspectival madness, evolution itself temporarily slammed shut, and began various moves—including a regressive stepping back and searching for a sturdier point where a true self-organizing process could be set in motion once again.”
Frank Visser: “Excuse me? Evolution "had to adjust course"", "starts by making moves", "finds it necessary to take certain moves", "had no choice but to take up", "was backing up, regrouping, and looking for ways to move forward", "attempting to introduce", "has paused and is in the process of backing up", "will continue to push, and push, and push into existing affairs", "it routes around... and attempts to restore"?? As a modern-day Hegelian, Ken Wilber's sees signs of Spirit in all manifestations of nature and culture. No scientist in the world would subscribe to such a notion of evolution. Wilber is free to use this vocabulary in any metaphorical way he wants, but it is obvious from this writing that he means business—and that he really believes all this. He dismisses the scientific conception of evolution. (…) “Problems our new US President has very quick and simplistic answers to, based on fear and self-interest: close borders, build walls, put a ban on travelers from dangerous countries (but not if you do business with them). In this atmosphere of populism and paranoia, I would expect a philosopher to stand strong on the highest principles he can think of, condemning this whole-scale regression to racist, sexist, anti-refugee, overly patriotic platitudes in no uncertain terms. (…) This book is a self-help guide for Democrats, if nothing else. (…) To make this message work in the real world, a lot of pruning and editing are in order. The valuable ideas presented in this volume are at times burdened too much by an ideology, which claims to be able to see the inner workings of the world from a both a scientific and a spiritual perspective. It is marred by personal obsessions of the author (…). As it stands now, this is too much a sermon for the true believers. But after all, it was only meant to increase membership of IntegralLife.com? (…) The irony here is that, if development is the solution to society's major problems, why have the "developed" nations contributed to these problems the most? A second irony is that what brought close to 200 countries to a viable consensus at the Paris Climate Conference was not some uber-complex integral approach—in which the whole arsenal of quadrants, lines, stages and states is brought to bear on this topic, as advocated by Wilber and Watkins—but a negotiation method derived from African tribal people! "Negotiations are difficult by nature. Managing negotiations between 195 countries in order to arrive at a legally binding agreement, on the other hand, is nearly impossible. This was the problem that United Nations officials faced over two weeks at this month’s climate-change summit in Paris. To solve it, they brought in a unique management strategy. The trick to getting through an over-complicated negotiation comes from the Zulu and Xhosa people of southern Africa. It’s called an “indaba” (pronounced IN-DAR-BAH), and is used to simplify discussions between many parties.” 
Michel Bauwens: “For Wilber, who for me in this respect has not overcome a really provincial aspect of his thinking, an integral political synthesis goes no further than American liberalism (already on the right of the political spectrum to European eyes) and conservatism (akin to our extreme right in Europe), and he announced that Tony Blair was the most integral leader around, this of course at the time of the wise decision of invading Iraq. This while I have never heard any good word for the global justice movement. For Beck, the ride goes further: 'Bush is a good leader' and 'has been chosen by the spiral' (these are literal quotes, one in a personal conversation, another in an email). An integral theory that is being bent in that political direction, in the current political configuration, seems to have lost any emancipatory power. I think this has to be stated with force, that it becomes doubtful that anything positive may emerge from a movement, which is going in that direction. Again, with the current disaster unfolding, I have not yet seen any reassment of these disastrous interpretations. (…) That it is not a fully critical and emancipatory theory, and has increasingly become 'politically reactionary', elitist, and used as a system of instrumental manipulation for the leadership of large organizations (that's how Beck's SD is marketed to corporations and politicians). That it is already now used to justify spiritual oppression (Da Free John), war and occupation (Bush), stifling internal debate, and creating an environment of cultic adhesion. These are not trivial matters! (…) And politically, we need attention to the concrete suffering and injustices of the many, which requires action and our own moral development, aided or not, by meditation or other spiritual practices. This practice is best undertaken by a group of peers, as described by John Heron in his Sacred Science, not in a traditional authoritarian religion, and I would venture, be even more wary of the charismatic lone leader (Wilber) who does not even have a tradition to balance him.”
Ken Wilber: “evolution finds it's necessary to take certain self-correcting moves. These moves will not obviously appear as necessary correctives—they might indeed appear alarming. But the only thing more alarming would be for evolution to try and move forward on the basis of an already badly broken leading-edge. The disasters would simply increase. Green, as a leading-edge, had collapsed; and evolution itself had no choice but to take up a broadly 'anti-green' atmosphere as it tried to self-correct the damage. And the one thing that was true of Donald Trump—more than any other single characteristic that defined him (more than his sexism, more than his racism, more than his xenophobia)—is that every word out of his mouth was anti-green. (…) Trump's anti-green impulse runs serious, far, and vast (though he consciously is aware of none of this). Whether his proposals are red or amber or orange, they are always also anti-green. And that is the one thing they all have in common, whether they are red, amber, or orange—they are all energized in part by this anti-green self-correcting drive of evolution in search of a functional and self-organizing way forward. (…) Nihilism and narcissism brings evolution to a traffic-jam halt. This is a self-regulating and necessary move, as the evolutionary current itself steps back, reassess, and reconfigures, a move that often includes various degrees of temporary regression, or retracing its footsteps to find the point of beginning collapse and then reconfigure from there. (…)It needs to be “transcended,” most certainly, but it also—the lesson here—needs to be “included,” if evolution is to return to its general functional and self-organizing drive of “transcend and include.” That is the secret, hidden, but very real drive that Trump unconsciously rode to a victory that, because its primary driver was completely unseen, was a total shock to both camps and to every major pollster anywhere. (…) And this indeed is exactly the type of genuine healing that embraces the self-correction that evolution is looking for. (…) Here's just one example of this slowly but widely growing realization of green's complicity in the election of an amber ethnocentric Trump—and an indication that the self-correcting drive of evolution is indeed kicking in. (…) evolution, in a decided move of self-correction, has paused and is in the process of backing up a few paces, regrouping, and reconstituting itself for a healthier, more unified, more functional continuation. (…) And—although Trump himself will do little to actually address the details of this—as each of these stages works to redress the imbalances inflicted on it by an extreme green and its aperspectival madness, the overall effects of these recent events can indeed turn out to be quite healthy, allowing evolution to generally self-correct, adopt a leading edge that can actually lead, and thus allow evolution itself to continue its ongoing march of “transcend and include,” a self-organization through self-transcendence.”
JEFF MEYERHOFF: “Wilber writes that for mythic-members that others would not buy their God sends agonies of proselytizing fury through their souls; infidels are intolerable, and can actually be killed in order to save them. Yet the historical record provides examples of mythic societies that did not find that infidels are intolerable. (…) Contrary to Wilber's assertions religious intolerance is not a necessary attribute of mythic societies. The last part of Wilber's quote above which says, infidels are intolerable, and can actually be killed in order to save them, is reminiscent of the famous quote from an American military officer in Vietnam who said that they had to destroy that village in order to save it. That war, managed by the best and the brightest members of the egoic-rational stage, is just one example of the proselytizing democratic fury which was used to justify horrifically destructive campaigns by Europeans and the U.S. throughout the Third World in the 19th and 20th centuries. And regarding democracy, the supposedly more morally primitive, tribal societies actually had more democracy than our advanced industrialized societies, as long as we define democracy as actual participation in the distribution of resources and group decision making. (…)We see an example of diffusing the import of offending facts when Wilber describes the development from a mythological to a rational world view. According to Wilber, the establishment of the modern state and the global market economy while grounded in universalistic reasons was still tinged, initially, by remnants of imperialism, which indicated not an excess of reason but a lack of it.(…) The words tinged and initially are needed to minimize the imperialistic depredations of the Third World which have been an integral part of the rise to prominence and worldwide dominance of First World powers, allowing them to extract the resources they need to maintain their high standards of living. The economist Rajani Kannepalli Kanth summarizes the high costs to the colonized by the exploitative practices of the colonial powers, their moral superiors according to Wilber. The extensive literature on the underdevelopment of the Third World demonstrates that the rise to power of the Western industrialized countries was causally intertwined with the impoverishment of the Third World countries. The colonialism and imperialism characteristic of egoic-rational societies in the 19th and 20th centuries is conveniently ignored when Wilber compares the mythic and the egoic-rational. Another example of diffusing offending facts occurs when Wilber acknowledges what humanity has lost over the centuries. He acknowledges that Mythic-membership does indeed provide, or can provide, an ‘intensely cohesive social order’ but, we learn, that is principally because it can export disorder and excommunicate unbelievers. So, although it will appear that the emergence of rationality was somehow a massive loss of cultural meaning and social integration, that is only true from an enthocentric (or mythic-membership) bias. A bias, we may assume, to which Wilber, ensconced in a rational-egoic society, is not subject. Biases are hard to spot, the more so for those who have them. Wilber's world-centric (rational membership) bias is glaring to anyone who can step outside of it. A few examples demonstrate his stunning lack of political self-awareness and manifest the larger moral and theoretical beliefs that skew Wilber's view of social evolution. Writing of contemporary society Wilber states that the transformation from mythic-membership to egoic-rationality (and its perils) is already open to China, Cuba, Libya, Iraq, North Korea, Serbia, and any other social holon that wishes to surrender its mythic 'superiority' and join the community of nations governed by international law and mutual recognition, that wishes to cease dissociating and splitting off from the free exchange of planetary consciousness, that wishes to reintegrate into a common world spirit and collective sharing of reason and communication and vision. (…) Is it a coincidence that each of these countries was, at the time of Wilber's writing, an unofficial enemy of the U.S. and demonized by the U.S. as an outlaw or rogue state? (…)It's a testament to the political biases embedded in the U. S. doctrinal system that a good person like Ken Wilber would not even see the bias in these examples. Lastly, to illustrate how development occurs in which wholes become parts within larger wholes while retaining their basic integrity, Wilber uses the example of Hawaii. Before it became a state and a part of the United States it was a whole unto itself with all the prerogatives of sovereignty. After statehood it was no longer a sovereign nation, but it was preserved within the larger sovereignty of the United States. Fortunately, as Wilber states, all of its basic structures were preserved in the new Union; none of them were destroyed or harmed in the least. And this is certainly true as long as we maintain Wilber's big view of history. Unfortunately, those native Hawaiians who suffered military occupation, colonization, economic exploitation and de facto second class citizenship may not have the requisite level of consciousness to understand the big picture as well as Wilber can. In all of these examples it is the yellow, brown and black people of the Third World who are forgotten; and this by a non-racist man with good intentions. This bias determines the content of Wilber's developmental story. While it appears as if the movement from archaic to magical to mythic to egoic-rational is a developmental progression, this is only true if you have already decided that the egoic-rational stage should be the destination point. Wilber's analysis is made to sound like a neutral description of the traits these diverse types of consciousness and associated moralities exhibit, but it's actually, when shorn of its false value-neutrality, an analysis which asks the question: In what ways are previous world views not yet like ours? Or, to phrase it differently, given that we are morally and cognitively superior, what are they lacking and what kinds of changes were required for them to eventually become like us?”
EVIDENCE 14: ETHNOCENTRISM
MICHAEL WINKELMAN: “(Wilber) has been uncritically accepted. Without an extensive background in paleontology, archaeology, anthropology, and cross-cultural psychology, as well as other fields necessary for a critical evaluation of this work, one is likely to be mislead into accepting Wilber's perspectives. This is reinforced by the fact that widespread ethnocentrisms found among Westerners and within Western psychology itself are found in Wilber's perspectives on the evolution of human consciousness. Wilber's theories expound perspectives central to Euroamerican culture and Western psychology, and contain biases and assumptions which are at variance with contemporary anthropological findings and perspectives on the prehistorical, historical and contemporary cross-cultural conditions of human consciousness and cognitive capacities. (…) (Wilber) suggested that the highest level achieved by broad segments of the human race so far is the stage typical of modern day Westerners at the solar ego/formal operations stage. (…) Staniford points out that Wilber's view of human evolution is simplistically unilineal and based on 19th century anthropology while ignoring current anthropological research and points of view. Wilber's efforts to integrate Western and Eastern psychology have made major contributions to psychology, but Up From Eden has many problems with facticity and interpretation. (…) in the process of reviewing materials relevant to the nature of consciousness of hominids and early humans, I was forced to recognize that the ontogenetic model was incapable of accounting for the phylogenetic evolutionary data. During the last century biologists recognized that ontogenetic models were inadequate in accounting for phylogenetic development (Gould 1977). This review sets forth data which illustrate that phylogenetic evolution of human consciousness does not correspond to the ontogenetic patterns as Wilber argues. (…) The first stage of Wilber's theory of the evolution of human consciousness is called "Uroboric". Uroboric refers to the mythical serpent eating it's own tail and forming or representing an undifferentiated mass, and is used as a characterization of consciousness at this period. Wilber groups at the Uroboric stage Australopithecus africanus, Homo habilis and Homo erectus, who lived from 3 million to 200,000 years ago. Wilber suggests that these hominids lived without consciousness, in a primitive narcissistic state of embeddedness with nature which was characterized by confusion of self and other, and of inner experiences and the external world. They are said to have been bound up in a participation mystique of unconscious identity: an undifferentiated dreamy autistic state in which they did not know themselves as separate entities, and did not have a self conscious life. He claims that these hominids lacked the capacity for true mental reflection and verbal representation and were ruled by instincts and biological drives. Wilber points out that his considerations devote little attention to the archaeological record, but instead rely upon discussions of others such as Arieti, Becker, Berdyaev, Cassier, Gebser, Neumann and Whyte. However, these individuals are not paleontologists, archaeologists, nor anthropologists, but other cross-disciplinary synthesizers who are presenting their own evolutionary or psychodynamic theories, derived from Western cultural assumptions. There is no review of anthropological research on the hominids of this era, and many assertions are in direct conflict with widely accepted anthropological research on such issues such as the appearance of language and cultural development. (…) Instead of presenting evidence about these early hominids, Wilber calls upon what he refers to as circumstantial evidence: the belief that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. (…) However, ontogenetic data do not provide evidence about phylogenetic evolution. If we wish to illustrate correspondences of phylogenetic evolution with ontogenetic patterns, we must have evidence about early phylogenetic stages, not theories. Wilber has presented us with no evidence about the hominids in this era and nothing to support the contentions except the discredited notion that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. Wilber states that there is no way to prove or disprove his assertions, but in fact archaeological and ethnological research clearly refutes his scenario. (…)Tobias (1971a) reviews evidence arguing that even Australopithecus exploited a mental, manipulative, and cultural capacity upon which they depended for survival, (…)Needless to say, this characterization would have also applied to later hominids such as Homo habilis, who showed a systematically progressive use of stone tools. Montague (1976) argues that tool use and transmission of such knowledge implies the presence of language among Australopithecus and Homo habilis. Anthropologists generally agree that it is likely that language beyond rudimentary signalling forms was present as long as 2-3 million years ago.(…) The paleobiological evidence is also consistent with the assumption that language was present (…). Isaac (1976) points out that there was the imposition of arbitrary design rules in the construction of some tools during the Middle Pleistocene 0-5 million years ago). This not only indicates symbolic activity in the transmission of knowledge, but suggests the differentiation between different groups on the basis of these arbitrary stylistic differences. Planning for future hunting activities and the creation and maintenance of a tool use tradition based in the cultural transmission of abstract ideas would have required object permanence, a notion of the future, long term memory, rational planning, and differentiation of self from the environment and others. The use of arbitrary stylistic differences in tools suggest the development of a self concept as a locus for organization of experience. (…) Early Australopithecus was at least as advanced as chimpanzees; the differences in brain size and the presence of tools make this incontrovertible. The development of chimpanzees make it clear that no normal adult pre-sapien hominids in the past 3 million years were operating at the uroboric level as outlined in Up From Eden or as expanded in The Atman Project. Wilber's typhonic stage spans the period from 200,000- 10,000 B.P., roughly corresponding to the era from the emergence of Homo sapiens until the beginnings of civilization or history. The typhon is a mythological creature, half human and half animal, representing Wilber's characterization of humans at this stage. Wilber suggests that these early Homo sapiens lacked a body-self differentiation, language, a logical and conceptual mind, and the ability to differentiate the mind from the body. He suggests that they utilized protolinguistic structures, were characterized by subject/object and part/whole confusions, and were incapable of extensive temporal consciousness. The previous discussion on Australopithecus and the great apes directly refutes much of this characterization. Wilber discusses cave art and totemism to substantiate his characterizations. However, analysis of that material from an anthropological perspective illustrates the very abilities Wilber wants to deny. (…) Mar shack (1972) further demonstrates that the Trois Freres drawings are lunar calendrical representations, placing the representations still further beyond the abilities attributed to these people by Wilber, since they would require not only the capacity for complex representation, but also an extended sense of time, which Wilber does not attribute to humans until the next stage. (…) If early Homo sapiens had totemistic beliefs, Wilber has underestimated their cognitive abilities, since they would have required not only abstract thought but differentiation of self from environment, animals and others. (…)Jolly and Plog's (1979) discussion of tool manufacturing among archaic Homo sapiens(100,000 B.P.) illustrate a cognitive capacity based in symbolic behavior. (…)Not only is symbolic activity and planning for the future clearly established in these early Homo sapiens, but religious activities are present as well. "Among the remains of archaic Homo sapiens...we repeatedly find relics that seem to have a symbolic rather than utilitarian value...religion was clearly established" (Jolly and Plog 1979;258). There is also strong evidence of a widespread bear cult as well as ritual human burials and associated evidence which "seems indisputably]...related to belief in the supernatural" (Jolly and Plog 1979;259). Isaac (1976) points out that burials, grave offerings and cults extend through the Late Acheulan, Mousterian and Middle Stone Age (200,000-45,000 B.P.). Thus, it appears that (…) artifacts suggest that humans had a conception of the afterlife, human physical mortality, and human spiritual survival. (…) Issac's (1976:283) conclusions drawn from the Upper Paleolithic archaeological evidence (40,000 years ago) suggests that the differences be seen as translations, not transformations: 'Most archaeologists familiar with the field seem to be convinced that they are dealing with the products of human societies in possession of the full biological capabilities of our species as it exists today." Wilber insists that these earlier humans have different mental structures from those of modern humans, but we see that his characterizations are unfounded. We are forced to recognize the existence of human societies some 40,000-100,000 years ago which were cognitively equivalent to contemporary society in terms of cognitive capabilities, although not content or translations. Wilber suggests that about 12,000 B.P. there was the development of "farming consciousness" which was associated with the development of a new stage of consciousness, the mythic membership stage. Wilber asserts that at this time some humans developed an extended sense of time and that full-fledged language appeared. However, these people are still characterized by part/whole and subject/predicate confusions and lacking true ego development. (…) Wilber follows Jaynes (1976) in this discussion, but Jaynes' ideas have been rejected on several points by evidence provided by extant languages, archaeology, and the reconstruction of ancient languages (see Steklis 1976). There is indication of considerable social and economic change around 12,000 B.P. which may have involved an intensification of the use of language, but the other personal changes which Wilber suggests as indicative of this stage clearly occurred before the agriculture revolution. However, Wilber suggests that the majority of non-Western peoples have remained at the verbal-membership stages, and have not acquired fully developed egos or the development of logical-rational thought. If the majority of the people of the world lack fully developed egos, one wonders why the psychological anthropologists (e.g., see Spindler 1978) have failed to make this discovery. (…) The archaeological evidence reviewed by R. White (1982; see above) suggests that egoic structures as conventionally conceived existed at least as long as 40,000 years ago, and the comparative ethological evidence suggests that some form of ego structures have probably existed in hominids for millions of years. Wilber's insistence that the majority of non-Western peoples are dominated by instinctual responses to external stimuli and have not reached the solar-ego stage in his schema is untenable. Human societies, especially contemporary ones, are not dependent upon instinctual behavior for their maintenance. As Tobias (1971a, 1971b) points out, even Australopithecus depended more upon cultural adaptation than instinct for survival. Wilber suggests that a new stage of "Solar Ego" consciousness emerged in 2500 B.C., occurring during the era which Childe (1951) refers to as the Urban Revolution. Wilber suggests that during the solar ego stage we see the beginning of truly rational and logical thought, formal operational thinking, and the emergence of an exclusively egoic structure of consciousness (p. 180-2). Wilber (1980:31-2) suggests that the core of the mental-egoic stage, which provides the ontogenetic model for the solar-ego stage, involves: the development of a self concept; the emergence of an ego which is characterized by the final emergence of the super-ego proper; and the ability to take on abstract roles. Wilber states that the solar ego emerged in the "West (Europe and Near East)", and that the majority of non-Western peoples have remained at the verbal-membership stages instead of reaching the ego levels (footnote p. 187). The above discussions have provided evidence that these abilities were both acquired long ago, and are present cross-culturally. (…) Wilber's relegation of non-Westerners to lower stages of cognitive evolution is exemplified in his use of material from extant or recently extant cultures (19th and early 20th century) as examples or reflections of lower stages of development. The belief that contemporary cultures with simple or technologically primitive social structures can be used as exemplifications of lower stages of human evolution is a widespread cultural ethnocentrism and a problem which vitiates Wilber's model and presentations. Several lines of research establish that people from all cultures have and utilize the same range of cognitive abilities. Wilber suggests that the bulk of contemporary peoples haven't acquired formal operational thought. The 20th century anthropological tradition has generally agreed with Boas (1911), who argued that people in all cultures exhibit the same range of thought processes attributed to the more "civilized" peoples. Boas (1911) argued that valid inferences about thought processes cannot be based upon the content of traditional beliefs and customs. That is, mythic beliefs cannot be taken as evidence about or exemplification of normal thought processes any more than the false beliefs of scientists can be taken as evidence that they lack the cognitive processes to think scientifically. Cross-cultural psychological researchers on cognitive development (Piagetian) have frequently stated that people in other cultures fail to develop to the same levels as Westerners, but such research is vitiated by biases in method and interpretation (See Cole and Scribner 1974). Culturally relevant cross-cultural research has demonstrated that people in all cultures go through all of Piaget's stages of mental development and reach formal operations stage, although people in some cultures show a lag in acquisition which is directly related to differences in school experiences and other learning experiences associated with urban environments (See Berry and Dasen 1974; Dasen 1977; Cole and Scribner 1974). (…)Since language acquisition and use is the most complex human cognitive activity, and since there are no qualitative differences in the complexity of language rules, it is impossible to conceive of "simple" or more "advanced" cognitive levels among different cultures with equally complex languages (Cole and Scribner 1974). (…) The main problem with Wilber's scheme is the inappropriateness of an ontogenetic model for phylogenetic data. The recapitulationist position (ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny) was abandoned within biology during the last century under the overwhelming weight of contrary evidence (Gould 1977). (…) However, human societies cannot and have not functioned at the uroboric levels or the lower levels of the typhonic stage as outlined ontogenetically and phylogenetically by Wilber. Chimpanzee development and the presence of language, social organization and self perception among Australopithecines indicate that even pre-sapien hominids have always functioned at a level somewhere between Wilber's typhonic and membership levels. (…)The increase in brain size from Australopithecus to Homo Neanderthalis is accompanied by an increase in cultural complexity. Given the direct relationship between relative brain size and intelligence in lower animals, and recognizing that selective pressures would have favored those hominids whose mental capacities were more adapted to acquiring culture, language and tool use, the increase in brain size must be a central factor in the evolution in human consciousness. The role of physical factors in the evolution of human consciousness from Australopithecus to Homo Neanderthalis makes Wilber's recourse to teleological explanation in terms of return to Spirit unnecessary. (…) The accumulated cultural evolution led to the development of peoples at least 40-100,000 years ago which had clearly developed egos, functionally comparable to that of the average Western person today (…).However, the qualitative differences in capacities which Wilber suggests do not in fact exist. The suggestion of such differences is the result of the inability of investigators to overcome blocks to communication, understanding, and assessment created by the differences between themselves and people of other cultures they have studied. Wilber's work is based upon the comparison of material from many cultures, but his data is not taken from a representative sample of human cultures. A representative sample and clear criterion for evaluation of the material are necessary for assessing mythological materials, for establishing crosscultural generalities, and for assessing cross-cultural differences and similarities in stages of evolution of consciousness or perception or perennial truths. Without criteria which ensure that the materials used are representative of all human cultures, we have no basis for asserting that the conclusions we draw are generally valid for human societies. The lack of criteria to ensure a representative sample leads to a selective presentation of data; cases which confirm the theoretical perspective are presented, while the cases which contradict it are left out of the discussion. For instance, Wilber's assessment of creation myths is limited to the Judaeo- Christian tradition, without consideration of other traditions. (…) Wilber suggests that magical beliefs about this interconnectedness of nature is a result of the lack of full differentiation of the psyche and the world, and does not reflect the same interconnectedness as perceived by the Eastern consciousness disciplines. Although the basic conclusions are comparable if not essentially identical, Wilber wants to attribute veridical perceptions to those consciousness traditions which form the basis of his theoretical perspective and background, but disallow the apparent occurrence of comparable perceptions among those who are living in more primitive economies and under simpler social conditions and are therefore relegated to the lower levels of his evolutionary scheme. (…) Wilber's theory of evolution of human consciousness is found to be lacking not only for these reasons, but also because of the structure of his arguments, the accuracy or competency of his selected authorities, and the relevant evidence he fails to consider. (…) Wilber lacks a cross-culturally representative sample of mythological materials and clear criteria for assessing such materials. Furthermore, his errors in consideration of the physical record require that his assessments of the mood and mode of consciousness be critically assessed and revised.”
WHIT HIBBARD: “Rowe questions the developmental parallels between quadrants posited by Wilber; that is, he regards it an article of faith to accept, for example, that the stages of childhood cognitive development (symbols to concepts to conop to formop) mirror the social correlates (foraging, horticultural, agrarian, industrial) and cultural correlates (archaic, magic, mythic, rational). (…) Several critics question Wilber's description and classification of prerational cognitive structures, which presents a challenge to his all-level model. Kremer cites anthropological evidence of early hominids and ancient civilizations that presuppose complex cognitive processes supposedly unavailable to humans during those time periods [including cognitive skills akin to vision-logic]. They suggest that a stage model may not be the most appropriate way to take these data into account. In other words, anomalous anthropological evidence that does not fit Wilber's model leads Kremer to doubt the model's ability to account adequately for mental processes of indigenous peoples. Kremer further questions Wilber's apparent nineteenth-century evolutionary conceptualizations that, when applied to the evolution of consciousness and societies, persuades him to rank indigenous peoples as lower than Euro-centered peoples. From the indigenous perspective, however, evolutionary thinking in general has always been problematic because of its (at least implicit) notion of progress toward some better, more complete, or more actualized way of being. Similarly, diZerega argues that (a) there is no evidence that the early hunter-gatherers didn't possess formal rational consciousness, and (b) that contemporary hunting and gathering peoples are as rationally competent as moderns. . . . We have no empirical reason to believe these people were mentally less acute than we ourselves [and] the cultural and religious practices of contemporary hunting and gathering peoples . . . provides evidence for the existence of formal operational rationality. Just because these people experience the world differently from us moderns does not mean that they are cognitively inferior. Furthermore, diZerega questions Wilber's association of all magical thinking with prepersonal cognitive development (a conclusion borrowed from Piaget), arguing that the magical thinking of contemporary tribal people is qualitatively different from childhood magical thinking. (…) Kremer notes that “Wilber has yet to answer the detailed objections by Winkelman and myself [and diZerega] regarding available archeological and anthropological evidence which challenges his model as a whole.” (…) being Eurocentric; lacking in grounding in contemporary archaeological, anthropological, and ethnological research; biased in its selection and interpretation of data; and under-estimating the cognitive abilities of indigenous peoples) (…) diZerega claims that the majority of practitioners of nature religion are not in retreat from modernity as Wilber charges, and only some hold the eco-Romantic attitudes and beliefs of which Wilber accuses them. Also, contrary to Wilber, diZerega does not think nature religions are regressive in either motivation or essence; rather, they are dialogical, see no deep contradiction with contemplative traditions, and encompass both ascending and descending insights. Specific to the latter, diZerega and Smoley note that the Native American Navajo, Crow and Lakota, the African Yoruba, (…) all “recognize both 'ascending' and 'descending' dimensions to reality. (…)Due to these shortcomings, the argument can be advanced that Wilber is guilty of the straw man fallacy; that is, he misrepresents radical ecologists' positions through oversimplification and then attacks those positions. The same argument can be made regarding his blanket critique of systems theory; (…) (The Wilber theory) should be accepted as provisional (i.e., to be refined, reworked, or replaced by a better theory in the future) and one should be careful not to mistake the map for the territory.”
Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban: "Americans are socialized to believe in the cultural superiority of United States in relation to the rest of the world. Ethnocentrism clouds American´s vision of other cultures makes them think that their culture is the only way to live, or is the best way to live in comparison with others. In practice, ethnocentrism can be expressed by intolerance of difference and personal judgments of the superiority of one´s own culture (or aspects of it) and the inferiority of another´s culture (or parts of it). (...) Ethnocentrism is about culture, as racism is about race. There can be considerable overlap between race and ethnicity"
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: “Affirming further that all doctrines, policies and practices based on or advocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin or racial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences are racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and socially unjust; Reaffirming that indigenous peoples, in the exercise of their rights, should be free from discrimination of any kind”
Kasomo Daniel: “According to anthropologists, the concept combines the belief that one’s own culture is superior to other cultures, with the practice of judging other cultures by the standards of one’s own culture. Sociologists and social-psychologists extend the term to group attitudes shown by religious, economic, racial, caste and class group within a larger social order. Ethnocentrism is also defined as a feeling that one’s own group has a mode of living, values and patterns of adaptation that are superior to other groups. This leads to a generalised contempt of members of other groups. In conclusion the paper has pointed out that in its extreme form, ethnocentrism may lead to violent cultural conflicts and ethnic cleansing.”
UNESCO Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice: “Article 1 - 4. All peoples of the world possess equal faculties for attaining the highest level in intellectual, technical, social, economic, cultural and political development. 5. The differences between the achievements of the different peoples are entirely attributable to geographical, historical, political, economic, social and cultural factors. Such differences can in no case serve as a pretext for any rank-ordered classification of nations or peoples. Article 2 - 1. Any theory which involves the claim that racial or ethnic groups are inherently superior or inferior, thus implying that some would be entitled to dominate or eliminate others, presumed to be inferior, or which bases value judgements on racial differentiation, has no scientific foundation and is contrary to the moral and ethical principles of humanity. (...) Article 8- 1. Individuals, being entitled to an economic, social, cultural and legal order, on the national and international planes, such as to allow them to exercise all their capabilities on a basis of entire equality of rights and opportunities, have corresponding duties towards their fellows, towards the society in which they live and towards the international community. They are accordingly under an obligation to promote harmony among the peoples, to combat racism and racial prejudice and to assist by every means available to them in eradicating racial discrimination in all its forms. 2. In the field of racial prejudice and racist attitudes and practices, specialists in natural and social sciences and cultural studies, as well as scientific organizations and associations, are called upon to undertake objective research on a wide interdisciplinary basis; all States should encourage them to this end. 3. It is, in particular, incumbent upon such specialists to ensure, by all means available to them, that their research findings are not misinterpreted, and also that they assist the public in understanding such findings.”
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination: “Convinced that any doctrine of superiority based on racial differentiation is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous, and that there is no justification for racial discrimination, in theory or in practice, anywhere; Reaffirming that discrimination between human beings on the grounds of race, colour or ethnic origin is an obstacle to friendly and peaceful relations among nations and is capable of disturbing peace and security among peoples and the harmony of persons living side by side even within one and the same State; Convinced that the existence of racial barriers is repugnant to the ideals of any human society, (...) Article 1 - 1. In this Convention, the term "racial discrimination" shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin (...) Article 4 - States Parties condemn all propaganda and all organizations which are based on ideas or theories of superiority of one race or group of persons of one colour or ethnic origin, (...) (a) Shall declare an offence punishable by law all dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority”
UN News CENTRE: “3 November 2015 – Debunking the myth of racial hierarchy, United Nations experts on racial discrimination today said that it is imperative to deconstruct, on a global scale, the ideological myth of a superior race and the resulting conviction of a superior culture. Addressing a special event at UN Headquarters on Confronting the Silence: Perspectives and Dialogue on Structural Racism against people of African Descent Worldwide, Mireille Fanon-Mendes, Chair of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent said that the attacks on human dignity are elaborated due to “supposed hierarchy of races and cultures and do not concern only one or [another], but the entire international community.”
Jeff Meyerhoff: “There are also counterexamples in the human world. Wilber uses the example of Hawaii. It was an independent nation but was subsumed within the United States, becoming a part of a larger emergent whole. Its being was preserved, but its separateness was negated. Poka Laenui, President of the Pacific Asian Council of Indigenous People, has a different view of what she calls, in her article, the Colonization in Hawaii. She quotes U.S. President Grover Cleveland on the topic: By an act of war, committed with the participation of a diplomatic representative of the United States and without authority of Congress, the government of a feeble but friendly and confiding people has been overthrown. A substantial wrong has thus been done, which a due regard for our national character, as well as the rights of the injured people, requires we should endeavor to repair. But it wasn't repaired. The natives were forced to assimilate and were later annexed. Another example comes from Wilber's own developmental social sequence. He draws a line in which human social development evolves from tribes to tribal/villages to early state/empires. Each step is a new emergent holarchic arrangement. But has the being of tribes and villages been preserved in the later social arrangements? What we have seen is the destruction of tribal and village life and the irretrievable loss of those cultures. It's mistaken to think that the basic structures and functions were preserved and taken up in a larger identity. (…) Wilber also contends that this process of increasing complexification also holds for human social life; so primitive tribes should be less complex than modern industrialized societies. Yet the sociologist Anthony Giddens notes that There is simply no discernible correlation between linguistic complexity and the level of material 'advancement' of different societies and notes that some features of social activity found in oral cultures, such as those associated with kinship institutions, are exceptionally complex.”
EVIDENCE 15: PSEUDO-SCIENCE
Clive Hamilton: “Ken Wilber has built a large and enthusiastic following over the last 20 years with a series of books building his “integral theory of spirituality”. (…) So, what are we to think when we discover that Ken Wilber has swallowed the poison pill of climate science denial, and sings the praises of Michael Crichton? Crichton is notorious for his novel State of Fear in which he characterizes the vast body of evidence about anthropogenic global warming as a conspiracy among scientists. He retails a series of “facts” about climate change science that have been shown to be manifestly false and based on ignorance, but which the novelist deploys to support his thesis that climate science is used as a form of social control. (…) You can listen (…) to Wilber talk about “my friend Michael Crichton” including Wilber’s retelling of the conspiracy theory about scientists covering up evidence. “We don’t know if we’re getting all of the facts”, he tells his audience. A more extensive revelation of his denialism is found in another discussion with Crichton, but it seems to be for members of his Integral Institute only and not easily accessible. (…) A number of explanations come to mind for Wilber’s turn against science. In the first place, those without relevant qualifications who feel themselves able to evaluate and reject a huge body of evidence built around a theory unchallenged for a century must have enormous egos. While Wilber has expatiated on the dangers of the “spiritualized ego”, it is hard to keep the monster at bay when surrounded by starry-eyed devotees who believe you are the font of all wisdom. To be consistent, those who decide the scientists are duping us must explain how it is that over the last thirty years or so hundreds of highly qualified scientists have managed to publish thousands of papers in peer-reviewed journals virtually all of which support the basic claims of anthropogenic warming. Most resort to some kind of conspiracy among the scientists to systematically distort their results in order to pursue hidden goals. The mentality behind this kind of thinking psychologists call “conspiracist ideation” (…). Of course, for someone who claims to have reached a very high level of enlightenment, the fall from “nondual consciousness” to the cognitive style of conspiracy theories is a very long one indeed, crashing down through the rational to the mythic and magic levels (…) where we might find the most intellectually primitive deniers of the American right, like Senator Jim Inhofe (also a friend of Michael Crichton). Yet I think there is something deeper going on with Wilber’s embrace of climate science denial. (…) The problem is that the world’s climate scientists are saying things that directly contradict (…) utopian vision of spiritual progress. They tell us that life in a hot world will not be one of blissful universal love and higher stages of consciousness but of struggle, conflict and mass death. (…) What would it take for Ken Wilber to embrace the science? It would mean the collapse of his life’s work. It would mean his most profound insights into the human condition and the nature of the cosmos don’t amount to a hill of beans. Ken Wilber would no longer be Ken Wilber. In the face of this life-threatening reality Wilber, like many others, has taken the way out for the faint-hearted. He has decided to disbelieve the scientists; in other words, he has opted to reject the spirit of the Enlightenment that made the modern world.”
Ken Wilber: "You either postulate a supernatural source of which there are two types. One is a Platonic given and one is basically theological—a God or intelligent design—or you postulate Spirit as immanent—of course it's transcendent but also immanent—and it shows up as a self-organizing, self-transcending drive within evolution itself. And then evolution is Spirit's own unfolding. Not in super-natural, but an intra-natural, an immanently natural aspect. And that's basically the position I maintain.”
Frank Visser: “Andrew Cohen's book of the same title, Evolutionary Enlightenment, is that spirituality supposedly has entered a new phase. Spirituality has become "evolutionary" now that we have "understood" that evolution is driven by a cosmic spiritual Force, which is called Eros by Wilber. And by aligning ourselves with that Force, we are spearheading the next phase in human (and cosmic) evolution. Evolution has become conscious of itself. (…) The equation Creativity—Eros—Spirit—God is easily made. We are spiritual insofar as we are creative, and vice versa. Or something to that effect. To substantiate these sentiments, Wilber often loosely gives out examples from the field of science to "support" his thesis that all these phenomena could not possibly have arisen without the help of the "gentle push" of Spirit. I have summed up this whole controversy in "The 'Spirit of Evolution' Reconsidered" (…). In the past, Wilber's favorite examples were: the complexity of the human eye, of the bird's wings, or the human immune system. More recently, he has referred to the evolution of the chemical elements, as evidence of a Creative Force in Nature, a "creative advance into novelty", as Whitehead has it. Without exception, these examples have been heavily criticized as unfounded and misleading. (…) One could say this sums up Wilber's basic outlook on life. (…) (But) creativism lacks a sturdy foundation in evolutionary science. Instead, the term "evolution" is borrowed by Wilber and Cohen from science and given a decidedly religious meaning, and conversely, an essentially religious philosophy of life is given apparent scientific credibility by this move. It doesn't give any insight into Nature's workings. In fact, it stops science dead in its tracks. None of this is questioned by a growing community of "integralists" or so-caled "evolutionaries", as they increasingly call themselves. It's time to frame this movement within the wider context of other approaches looking for a synthesis of religion and science, in this case biology. (…) Wilber writes much more depreciatively of science's attemts at explaining the phenomena of evolution. For Wilber, Nature is in need of Spirit's help, where Peacocke seems to equate God with Nature. For one thing, Peacocke is much, much more informed about the life sciences then Wilber ever was. He understands, contrary to Wilber, that controversies within biological theory, heated as they may be, are often well within the Darwinian framework, and can't be used to cast doubt on that framework. And he gets in what sense the processes of evolution are random (…)What strikes me as odd in these attempts by both Wilber and Peacocke is that it all sounds inspiring and empowering to see God as immanent in Nature and the process of evolution, until you start to ask questions. If Eros is so essential to evolution, what happened to Thanatos? Is that perhaps responsible for the major extinctions that have hit evolution in the past? Even if Wilber wrote about Thanatos in his Wilber-2 years (in The Atman Project (1980) and Up from Eden (1981), in his later writings Eros features much more prominently in his dealings with evolution. And if God's Love brings atoms, molecules, human beings and eventually the world's nations together, is He also the driving force behind HIV or the Klebsiella virus? What kind of worldview is this? My greatest objection to this view of evolution is that, however sophisticated the presentation may be, it all boils down to "Plants grow because God makes them grow". For one thing, that teaches us so very little about how plants actually grow. (…) As mentioned many times before, the integral community doesn't really seem to care about these probing questions into the validity of this particular integral view of evolution. But then again, what can we expect of true believers? Building your spirituality on an ill-understood science, is building your house on sand.”
Ken Wilber: “Rational reasons to believe in this miraculous spiritual dimension to Reality include the following: (a) the 'creative advance into novelty' that is demonstrated by evolution itself and is inexplicable by mere “chance mutation” (the evolution from strings to quarks to subatomic particles to atoms to small molecules to massively interconnected molecules to asexual cells and early organisms—just for starters—is an awful lot of evolution in a universe that is supposed to be 'running down' but can easily be seen as yet more evidence of creative Eros or Spirit-in-action, a self-organizing self-transcendent drive,' as Erich Jantsch put it.” (…) “Without this novel or creative addition, nothing new would emerge anywhere in the universe, since the present would be totally determined and caused by the past.”
David Lane: “It has been twenty years  since I first wrote about Ken Wilber's misunderstanding and misrepresentation of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. One would hope that in those intervening two decades Wilber would have at least learned not to keep peddling his mistaken caricature of biological evolution and how it actually works. But that hasn't happened since Wilber in his most recent book, The Religion of Tomorrow, still persists in presenting a false picture of the current theory and in so doing propping up a straw man of his imagining so as to champion his own, not so subtle version of intelligent design. (…) Wilber basically cannot accept how complexity can emerge from simpler processes without invoking a teleological drive behind its unfolding. (…)Wilber cannot imagine how novelty can be introduced by natural selection unless there is a creative and intelligent force that foreshadows it. (…)The emergence of novelty doesn't necessitate an overarching guiding hand where “Eros in action” is necessary for atoms to combine into molecules and they in turn into living cells. No, complexity can arise from very simple conditions given the right geometric environments, as has been pointed out throughout the various sciences—from quantum theory to molecular biology to neuroscience to computer informational systems. (…)likewise one need not invoke Eros to explain how the “nuclei of deuterium and helium formed” just minutes after the Big Bang occurred 13.8 billion years ago. Wilber's invocation of “Eros” is merely a placeholder for a “God of the gaps” explanation and doesn't in any way help us better understand the cosmos at large. (…)Wilber, who, in his rush to dismiss natural selection, consistently misrepresents it instead of actually dealing with how it actually works and what it ultimately implies. Instead of dealing with the nuts and bolts of molecular mechanics, he indulges in philosophical sophistry and reifications by repeating his mantra of “transcend but include.” It may work as a New Age feel good slogan, but it has precious little to do with developing new breakthroughs in science. (…) In either case, however, note how the vast majority of working biologists never invoke “Eros” or any other mythic deity to explain complexity. Why? Because there are a whole host of much more viable and workable explanations for how in a non-closed system order can emerge from chaos. Instead of a deep understanding of how chemistry evolved from physics, Wilber instead claims that “Eros in action” accounts for all that is new and novel in life, betraying once again any understanding of how emergence and novelty can result from simpler processes that don't need a divine being to engineer it. (…)The chief problem, besides his misreading of how emergence works in physical systems, is how loosely Ken Wilber uses the term “evolution” throughout his book. He too often conflates the term to mean something akin to progress towards an Omega destination whereas biologists tend not to invoke such teleological language since natural selection isn't a purposive force but an after the fact description of what can and will survive in a competing arena with a scarcity of resources. (…)Here as is usual with Wilber he is conflating cultural evolution with biological evolution. Sex selection alters the genotype and the phenotype of future generations, whereas the thoughts and ideas we share are memetic and are passed on in a cultural fashion. Ironically, the “fluky” aspect here is in Wilber's garbled understanding of what Darwinian evolution suggests and what it does not. To confuse genetics with memetics is to bastardize both. Make no mistake, Ken Wilber has a serious problem with evolution by natural selection (…)What Wilber has yet to come to grips with is that “higher stages of unspeakable complexity” can indeed arise from simpler processes which have no intrinsic end goal in mind, since that (and not some Greek god of sexual desire and attraction) is at the heart of what Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace co-jointly discovered back in the 1850s and which has altered the whole course of scientific understanding to the present-day. An “integral” theory that relies on a mythic being (even if metaphorically) to explain one of the most fundamental features of the universe deserves to be lambasted. Or, is “moronic” too kind a description for what Wilber tries to pass off as scientific?”
Conrad Goehausen: “I've also commented on (Wilber) approach to evolutionary theory, which I think he makes category errors in, of trying to insert metaphysical views into scientific theory, and not respecting the category differences. (…) So, Wilber's theory is that there is an immanent driving force within all beings from the tiniest amoeba to the most advanced human that thirsts for greater and greater inclusion, and ultimately, perfect realization. (…) But is it true? Common sense has a way of being proven wrong over and over again, particularly in scientific matters. (…) Wilber feels that he most postulate an erotic force or drive that is the real fuel for physical evolution itself. The problem is that Wilber has not adequately explained how this “drive” is anything other than a purely metaphysical drive, or how this metaphysical drive we all seem to share relates to the physical mechanisms of evolution, and physical life altogether. (…) What Wilber seems to be doing when he infers that a metaphysical eros drive is behind our physical evolution is projecting his own metaphysical drive, and the drive of most humans, onto the physical world, even onto our own physical bodies, even though that's just not the nature of the physical universe. It's true that since human have become cultural beings, our evolutionary process has changed to some extent, in that we now evolve not just physically, but culturally, and that our cultural evolution has a strong influence on our physical evolution, in that humans who can't thrive culturally are less likely to survive and pass on their genes than those who do. But that doesn't mean that the actual mechanism of physical evolution has changed, or that some metaphysical force has taken over the evolution of our bodies. (…) The problem with Wilber's evolutionary theory is that it seems to be guilty of this same confusion between physical drives and metaphysical ones that has made our entire culture a total mess of never-ending craving. He wants physical evolution to be based on a metaphysical drive, rather than a physical one. (…) Wilber is not the first to propose this. Something like it has been proposed endlessly for most of human history. But it still hasn't been found, and the desire and the need that it be found is not itself a substitute for the finding of it, nor is it evidence that it must exist. (…)Wilber neglects that religion has been promising far more for far longer, and delivering far less. Wilber talks as if science hasn't made any progress at all in the past two thousand years, or even in the last 150, when in fact it has made incredible, truly miraculous progress. Just because it hasn't answered every last problem or issue doesn't mean its answers haven't been getting more and more meaningful, valuable, refined, and trustworthy. (…) Wilber pretends that the rational response to science's shortcomings is to postulate another metaphysical answer, this time a more refined one, but only slightly so—an erotic drive. I don't want to ridicule this idea as many scientists would. Many would not ridicule it, but even those who would, would probably see it in its proper place, as a metaphysical theory, not a scientific one. It thus doesn't have any direct relation to physical theories, or physical evidence itself. What equations govern it? What phenomena requires its existence? Wilber doesn't say, because thus far there are none. (…) That is an irrational leap, and not of the transrational variety, but of the pre-rational variety. It's a regression, in other words, even if Wilber thinks not, because he has tried to formulate a transrational theory. What he doesn't understand is that ALL metaphysical superimpositions upon rational, physical processes are regressions, regardless of how high-minded they are. They lead to a false application of rational physical science, based on metaphysical theories which have no place in physical science. When scientists promise that these gaps in evolutionary theory will be filled with scientific materialistic theories and evidence, Wilber acts as if they have no credibility, when in fact they have huge credibility, since over the last few hundred years scientists have shown a remarkable ability to fill all kinds of huge holes in their theories and ideas and evidence with purely scientific knowledge. (…)The scientific materialists are right on that count. The physical universe doesn't need a supernatural explanation to explain itself or its processes within its own context. Nor does physical evolution. This strikes Wilber as wrong, because it leaves his own metaphysical drive exactly where? I'd say, right where it always was, in dualistic frustration. (…) Wilber's invocation of quantum uncertainty principles as one of those “loopholes” that his erotic drive can thrust its sweaty head through is desperation personified. Didn't Wilber once attack pseudo-spiritualists for trying to use quantum theory to make a home for their pet ideas of a transrational universe? Now he seems to be doing the same thing. (…)Wilber's problem is that he can't seem to locate his metaphysical drive within the physical universe, so he just postulates that it must be there, and if there are holes in physical theory, that must be the place where his metaphysical drive is hiding! This is the worst kind of reductionist logic, far more reductionistic than scientific materialism itself. (…)So even if Wilber is trying to introduce a trans-rational metaphysics into the physical world, rather than say a pre-rational mythos, he is still making a category error that ends up in a regression to the pre-rational. This is why he gets so pissed off! He thinks he's getting pissed off because somebody said something unwarranted and unfair about him. But really, he's getting pissed because his theory leads to a pre-rational emotionalism, a need to ground a metaphysical drive in the physical world, which is essentially a pre-rational need. And because that never produces satisfaction, and cannot by the very structure of reality ever be achieved, it leads to immense frustration on the part of the religious theorists trying to make it work. It's not just Wilber who ends up this way, it's virtually all of religious metaphysics, and often with far more violent results. (…)Wilber wants to keep his whole theory from unraveling, but he can't, because physical reality itself gets in the way, and that's unbearable for Wilber to face up to. Like all spiritual idealists, he tends to be at war with the physical world, and incapable of feeling at ease with its lack of metaphysical obedience to the ideas he wishes controlled it.”
Frank Visser: “My objections to Wilber's take on biological evolution have been that, in order to promote his spiritual theory of evolution ("There is an Eros in the Kosmos", a cosmic "drive towards self-organization"), he caricaturizes the neo-Darwinism point of view beyond recognition—a strategy well known among creationists and spiritualists. By stating that science tries to understand the complexities of biological evolution as wholly based on random chance—a ridiculous simplification—he can claim that "something other than chance is pushing the universe". That "something other", in Wilber's universe, is Eros. (…) In Wilber's view, biological organisms are "designed" in the sense that evolution is guided by Eros (…) I think there's a simple question to ask: do these authors really believe that Someone/Something —be it Eros or Spirit or Akasha, or whatever favorite notion one has of Ultimate Reality—has fine-tuned the cosmos, so that 14 billion years later some monkey could descend from the trees to become human? Or that Spirit or Eros is folding up proteins, splitting species or initiating the spreading of mammals, because Nature supposedly cannot accomplish this on Her own? How likely is that? (…) It would be too easy to say that both Wilber and Laszlo are far too sophisticated to be called "creationists", for two reasons. First, most ID authors go into extreme mathematical (Dembski) or biochemical (Behe) detail to make their points, much more than Wilber and (probably) Laszlo do. And second, the structure of Wilber's and Laszlo's arguments against conventional science is similar to those of creationists. Science supposedly cannot explain something and therefore my alternative is true. Wilber and Laszlo have never confronted the radicality of Darwin's vision: evolution is possible and can be explained without taking recourse to a spiritual drive behind evolution—be it Eros or the Akashic Field. The same goes, incidentally, for the notion of a cosmic "drive towards self-organization" that Wilber's postulates to explain the complexities of evolution. Again, self-organization theory explains these fascinating phenomena without taking recourse to spiritual drives or forces. (…) What Wilber typically does is take these notions such as "evolution" and "self-organization" from science and spiritualize them, so they fit into his grand scheme. His readers get the impression this view is backed up by science, where in reality nothing could be further from the truth. His is a, quite lonely, minority position, a fact his readers might easily overlook. (…) At the end of this blog posting Wilber accuses "reductionistic" science of endlessly promising results, which are never delivered, in his opinion. So he feels justified in proposing his spiritual solutions to the problems of science. Scientists, on the other hand, object to introducing notions of Spirit or Eros to "solve" problems that are not yet fully clarified scientifically. For that is a non-starter in science. For sure, a rich field of comparative study is here to be mined by science-oriented integralists! In sum, I would conclude that integral theory—be it of the Wilber- or the Laszlo-variety—lacks a solid grounding in and a true engagement with evolutionary science. An integral conversation with cosmological and biological science is still waiting on the far horizon. Until then, all pronouncements by integral authors on evolution should be taken with a large grain of salt.”
Stephen Jay Gould: “This charge against Darwin [that Darwinism undermines morality] is unfair for two reasons. First, nature (no matter how cruel in human terms) provides no basis for our moral values. (Evolution might, at most, help to explain why we have moral feelings, but nature can never decide for us whether any particular action is right or wrong.) Second, Darwin's "struggle for existence" is an abstract metaphor, not an explicit statement about bloody battle. Reproductive success, the criterion of natural selection, works in many modes: Victory in battle may be one pathway, but cooperation, symbiosis, and mutual aid may also secure success in other times and contexts.” ("Kropotkin Was No Crackpot", Natural History, 1997)
D. Lane: “Not to sound like a groggy professor, but if Wilber turned in [his written ideas] to me as a college student trying to explain the current view of evolutionary theory, I would give him an “F” and ask to see him in my office.... Wilber has misrepresented the fundamentals of natural selection. More-over, his presentation of how evolution is viewed today is so skewed that Wilber has more in common with creationists than evolutionists, even though he is claiming to present the evolutionists’ current view.... What makes Wilber’s remarks on evolution so egregious is ... that he so maligns and misrepresents the current state of evolutionary biology, suggesting that he is somehow on top of what is currently going on in the field. And Wilber does it by exaggeration, by false statements, and by rhetoric license.”
Ken Wilber: “How on earth do the acknowledged inadequacies of Darwinism prove that Jesus is the one and only Son of God? They prove only that a creative drive, Eros, or a self-organizing dynamic is inherent in the universe starting from the Big Bang.”
Frank Visser: “In my opinion, the "inadequacies" of Darwinism—even if they existed—would by the same token not "prove" Wilber favorite notion that the universe is driven by a spiritual force of Eros. A lot more is needed to accomplish that, for sure. Perhaps they just form an indication that there's more going on than current science knows, but jumping to metaphysical conclusions is not really the proper approach. What is more, the supposed "acknowledged inadequacies" Wilber spots in neo-Darwinism remain to be seen. The credibility of this statement hangs on Wilber's expertise when it comes to matters of evolutionary theory, which is provably inadequate. (…) Darwin's invocation of love has absolutely nothing to do with Wilber's ontological positioning of it in his Integral theory. It is sexual selection and survival of individuals within a nested network (family, friends, tribes) that is the real focus and prime mover behind why love arises in the first place. Contrary to Wilber presupposition, Darwin is not "reifying" love nor equating it in any way with Integral theory's notion of Eros. Using Wilber and Loye's own questionable methodology underlines this very point since the word sex appears nearly twenty times more than the word love in the The Descent of Man. Is word count really an insightful way to truly understand a theory? I think not, particularly when such word choices invariably come embedded within an informing and necessary context. Adolph Hitler's Mein Kampf, for instance, to take just one stark example mentions the word love in some form over 40 times.… Darwin is not in Wilber's camp, no matter how one tries to wiggle him into fit an "Integral" paradigm entrenched as it is with a directional aim for evolution. (…) Most creationist objections to evolutionary theory don't hang on scientific details, but on its supposed detrimental moral effects. But if it is in the end all really a matter of "selfish gene/survival of the fittest mindset" vs. "love rules the world/Kosmos" this would mean the end of all mature and informed debate. (…) So yes, physical strength can be selected for, but so can speed, or color, or agility, or flexibility—or yes, even human intelligence. This changes everything. Sometimes it helps to be big, but in different circumstances it helps to be small. It all depends. Competition and cooperation both exist in nature. Both can be included in a Darwinian perspective. If talent for competition works, it is passed on. If cooperation works, it is passed on too. Ironically, a talent for cooperation is even competitive! (…) That evolution is thinkable and explainable without postulating purpose, design, a Divine Plan etc. (…) Framing neo-Darwinism as producing and being responsible for a grim prospect of our society, and contrasting it to a world of love an harmony that should save the world comes across as well-meaning but hopelessly New Age.”
Frank Visser: “If there's a driving Force behind all of evolutionary life, as spiritualists like Ken Wilber ("Eros in the Kosmos") and Andrew Cohen ("the God impulse") argue, the burning question then becomes: why didn't everything evolve? Why only some species? For example, why didn't all fish go onto the land, if that was such a good design-idea? Was this Force not strong enough to influence all of life? Or was it directed towards only some of the species around? This doesn't seem a very plausible scenario, unless one wants to believe in some updated from of creationism. But if there isn't such a Force, as science holds, the opposite question arises: how did anything evolve at all? Why did only some species evolve towards higher complexity? Natural selection seems to explain this. But even if evolution through natural selection (for eukaryotes) is true, why didn't bacteria go down that road? Apparently, they did not evolve because the natural barriers are too high. Only the symbiosis of bacteria and primitive unicellular organisms managed to take that barrier.”
Frank Visser: “Ken Wilber's latest book The Religion of Tomorrow (2017) argues, again, for a religious view of evolution. Cosmic evolution is driven by "the Spirit of Evolution" which he prefers to call "Eros": a cosmic drive towards complexity, consciousness and compassion. This view is completely at odds with the standard scientific view of evolution, which doesn't invoke such higher powers to understand why things have evolved in the first place. Does it matter which view we choose? Are there good reasons to believe in this religious view? In Wilber's mystical worldview, Spirit is not only behind every process in nature and culture, but It can be experienced, merged and identified with by the advanced meditator as the "Supreme Identity", the "Ground of Being", "Atman", "what was there before the Big Bang". This constitutes for him a "proof of God", unavailable to rational philosophy or empirical science. These are quite extraordinary claims, that need to be assessed with a sober mind. (…) Given the fact that Wilber is a believer in involution—implying that we have come from Spirit and will return to It some time—the proper phrase would even be "From Atman to Atom and Back." (first comes involution, followed by evolution) Another favorite phrase Wilber is fond of using is "from dirt to Divinity". (…) Ken Wilber is of course not a physicist or a chemist. (…) In The Religion of Tomorrow Wilber often claims that his model has relevance "all the way back to be Big Bang" and even before that moment in time, given his belief in involution. (…) In Wilber's universe novelty can't arise unless introduced by Spirit or Eros. (…) integral philosophy doesn't need any Eros in the Kosmos, (…) That does raise the question about the consistency of Wilber's integral philosophy. (…) We see the blind spot in Wilber's scheme of the world exposed here with great clarity.”
Tomislav Markus: “In a previous article, "Two Roads Diverging" (Markus 2009b) I pointed out that „integral theory“ should be more accurately called "wilberian theory". Such is the case with „integral ecoloy“, which proper name should be "wilberian ecology" or even "orthodox wilberianism". The authors quote whole fragments from Wilber's works in detail, without any critical analysis. This method reminds one of orthodox marxists and their treatment of Marx/Engels theory. The limitations of wilberian theory are the limitations of this book as well (…) they have the status of prejudices, not scientific hypotheses. This is inevitable, because the whole project of integral ecology – in the authors' perspective, at least - starts as some kind of protest against scientific naturalistic and materialistic methodology. The idealistic approach presupposes a radical dualism between subjective and objective or interior and exterior, just as traditional dualism mind/body or soul/matter. (…) The authors's subjectivistic and idealistic approach leads into mysticism and irrationalism, ironically, in the name of progress “and the dignity of modernity“. In the best case, this is some kind of thought-provoking, study-stimulating and very interresting speculative philosophy, but surely not some integral theory “which could include“, much less “transcend“ science. (…) Speculative philosophy – which means a full return into traditional metaphysics – can't be the substitute for empirical science. (…) Belief in the autonomy of the “interior dimension“ leads either into irrational mysticism or rational metaphysics (inconsistent with a wilberian post-metaphysical approach). (…) The progressivistic approach is also a big defect of Integral Ecology. I earlier pointed out that anthropogenic problems, as the main characteristic of all civilizations, are the fundamental problem for every progressivistic interpretation of recent human history (Markus 2009a, 2009b). My general objections to Integral Theory (Markus 2009b) can be applied to Integral Ecology as well. The authors reject a regressive interpretation of recent human history but without any detailed and substantial analysis. Their short mention of Paul Shepard's theory is especially disappointing (IE 288-291). They even don't recognize a theory of bio-social discontinuity, a crucial point of Shepard's ecological theory (…). The authors mainly ignore hunter-gatherer societies in which there were no descent/ascent tradition and no special privilege for human beings. They use imprecise and scientificially useless terms, such as “indigenous“ or “tribal“ societies, a frequent defect in wilberian literature as well (Markus 2009b). So, their critique of these societies is of a very poor quality and with very selective use of the scholarly literature, (…) For the authors, ecological values depend on “higher moral development“ or “ecological conscioussness“. But hunter-gatherers have no “ecological consciousness (in the contemporary sense, at least) and they are presumably in the lowest level of (spiritual and material) “development“… but nevertheless they have the best ecological balance – from a clean and wild environment to long-term sustainability – of all human societies. And quite the opposite: industrial society – with the “highest level of development“ and the most „ecological consciousness – have the worst ecological balance. How is that possible? For the authors, that must be a great mystery but certainly not for those who accept the theory of bio-social discontinuity. (…) Ignorance of (neo)darwinian theories is consistent also with the authors' tendency that modern science reduces everything to physics (the fallacy of physicalism). Physics can tell us nothing about «mind» or the «interior dimension», but darwinism and evolutionary biology are something else. So called human “interiority“ (or “spirituality“) is nothing but our genetic heritage and evolutionary past or what is popularly called “human nature“, (…) In the last few years Wilber has stopped responding (in fact, he didn't respond to some well-argumented critiques long time ago, e.g. David Lane's article “Wilber and the Misunderstanding of Evolution“ ) to his critics, because, he thinks, they constantly misinterpret his position (one more similarity between orthodox marxism and orthodox wilberianism: critics always distort the Master's view). Only internal critique(?) in the Integral Institute seems to be allowed and every external critique is seen as “misinterpretation“. I hope that the authors will take a more constructive, non-dogmatic approach, because they explicitly call on other thinkers to analyze the limitations and problems with integral ecology and integral theory in general”
Ken Wilber: “It's evidence of a force that is pushing against randomness in the universe. (…)The fact that such a thing can happen is a miracle. It's just unbelievable. (…) And on and on it goes, with higher unities being created as you move from plant life into locomotive life and the emergence of animals, and then animals get more and more complex as a neural net drops down and emerges, and then a reptilian brain stem, and then a limbic system, and then a paleomammalian brain, and then a cortex. And then something new with human beings: a neocortex that makes it possible for you to comprehend these words. (…) All of this, without exception, is driven by love. (…) The great philosophers throughout history have referred to it by many names. Eros is one of the most common.” "The Cosmic Dimensions of Love"
David Lane: “Frank Visser has through a series of underappreciated essays systematically critiqued Ken Wilber over his egregious misunderstanding of evolution by natural selection. Why Ken Wilber has not yet responded to Visser and other critics over this issue is baffling. (…) I am a bit more surprised than most by how Ken Wilber has dealt with his critics over the past decade. For reasons I still cannot fathom, Wilber has opted to act as if Visser's pointed criticisms either don't apply or have already been fully addressed. Neither is the case. (…) Wilber is more of a dyed in the wool creationist than I realized, even as he pretends (not so convincingly by the way) to be “on top” of the latest research in biological evolution. (…) Is this science? (…)However, to pretend that his creation story has any semblance to science and should be taken seriously by other thinkers, let alone biological evolutionists, is patently absurd. (…) What we have here is Ken Wilber's myth about how the universe operates. And, as a myth, it shares much in common with other Egyptian, Hindu, and Christian myths. But today we don't seriously believe the Greek myth of creation (…)For instance, Wilber thinks that love is why life emerged on planet earth. But what about all the other stellar material—from planets to suns to comets to black holes—too innumerable to count which apparently don't even have the simplest virus, much less a jelly fish. (…) I think it might be more constructive instead to point by point breakdown Wilber's new creationism and show why it is merely pseudoscientific claptrap. However, in order to do this we have to (yet again?) show how Ken Wilber completely misunderstands evolution by natural selection, (…) Ken Wilber repeatedly makes the error that Neo-Darwinists believe that evolution is driven by randomness and chance only (…) This is completely untrue. (…) Ironically, Wilber's own parlance is precisely the type used by creation scientists. Daniel Dennett in his now famous treatise, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, uses two metaphors to explain the differences between evolutionists and creationists. The former take a crane like approach to the subject (step by step, empirical, verifiable), whereas the latter (Wilber and company) tend to use a skyhook approach (“drops”) to the subject, indicating that something “trans” physical must happen in order for the newly emerged structure to arise. (…) Wilber seems unable to grasp even the most rudimentary understanding of how life can emerge without resorting to a skyhook or a designer. This becomes painfully too obvious when Wilber claims Then all of a sudden a membrane drops around them and a single cell emerges. And what's more, it's alive. It can reproduce. The fact that such a thing can happen is a miracle. It's just unbelievable. These two last lines are elemental and perfectly define Wilber's new creationism. (…) I first critiqued Ken Wilber on his misunderstanding of evolution back in 1996, right after his book A Brief History of Everything was published. It has now been 14 years and if anything Wilber has become even more firmly entrenched in his new brand of creationism, which ironically mimics much of what Christian fundamentalists object to about Darwinianism. And Wilber doesn't have to look far for alternative theories about how the universe came into being (see Stephen Hawking's Grand Design or Sean Carroll's From Eternity to Here for starters) without resorting to Eros pushing Chaos aside inside an atom (…) Wilber has shown a tendency to abdicate that responsibility in his rush to push his creationist agenda. In so doing, and by avoiding the pertinent criticisms of Frank Visser and others, Wilber continues to tarnish his intellectual reputation. An integral theory without integrity is ultimately bankrupt.”
Frank Visser: “In Ken Wilber's latest book The Religion of Tomorrow: A Vision for the Future of the Great Traditions (2017), a recurring theme is the involution/evolution cosmology as formulated in his integral philosophy, which forms the cosmological background to all of his writings. (…) Wilber's understanding of and use of the term "evolution" is debatable, and the reason for this will become clear when we examine his use of the opposite term "involution". (…) Wilber has often pointed out, or at least suggested, that even the progression from Hydrogen to the heavier and more complex elements points in the direction of a transcendental cause. Many spiritually included people nowadays refuse to believe in the simple creationist answer that "God created it". (…) What is more, in Wilber's interpretation of this philosophical doctrine, Spirit is not only the source and the goal, but also the driving force behind this whole cosmic drama. This is the reason his brand of spirituality is often called "evolutionary"—a misnomer, in my opinion, given Wilber's scant knowledge of evolutionary theory. (…) Wilber has introduced the concept of "the 1-2-3 of God" in recent years (2006), to clarify the many dimensions of Divinity integral philosophy acknowledges (…). The Third Person of God is represented by the material world, or the IT-realm, which science studies and explores. The Second Person of God is the Mystery of existence, experienced as a You, in the WE-realm, with which we can form an intimate relationship. And the First Person of God is then the Self hidden in the deepest recesses of our consciousness, or the I-realm, which we discover through meditative practice. This approach is playful and simple to understand, but lacks the precision and the informative power of the more traditional theosophical views, in my opinion. (…) Wilber creates a straw man of the traditional view of involution. He never gives sources or examples, as usual, but plainly states that traditionalist sources have been very "strict" in stating that everything that has emerged, or can emerge, in evolution, must have been present in some form during involution—including physical particles, biological life and cultural productions. I don't think that anybody holding on to a notion of involution in recent times have every believed such a thing (…), will never be acceptable to modernity or postmodernity. (…) If Wilber has proven one thing in his dealings with science (and evolutionary theory in particular) it is that he could not care less about the struggles of science to discover the laws of reality, as long as they confirm his pre-conceived notions of a cosmic and evolutionary Spirit. Will it seriously be considered as theoretical progress, if we proclaim that the origin of subatomic particles can be explained because they have been laid down by involution? Will that satisfy anybody working at CERN? A solution, no less, "which involves no theoretical problems at all." Seriously? (…) I am afraid Wilber hasn't really listened to what philosophers and scientists are saying and doing, when they struggle to understand the facts of physical and biological reality. He must be hearing his own opinions, as he has consistently expressed them now for over forty years of writing.”
David Lane: “Wilber, in contrast to most working biologists in the field, wants evolution to be conscious and clear eyed with an end goal in mind. I realize he may want to believe this, but if so he is indulging in theology not biology. (…) Here Wilber even gives evolution a prime directive—what he calls “the primary purpose”—which is always to push the envelope for the next stage in the great chain of being to unfold. If, however, we don't accept Wilber's creation myth (because that is precisely what it is), then his entire Integral edifice comes crashing down, since his political argument is built piece by piece upon this rather tenuous foundation. And upon this scaffolding model, Wilber then tries to build his argument about our current political situation by using (as his habit) voodoo statistics and reductive color-coding in order to make sweeping generalizations so as to drive home his thesis. Yet, in doing such, he neglects (as usual) the very facts and numbers that would give one pause. Watch carefully how Wilber invokes statistics without providing us with the necessary references or context to properly appreciate whether they really substantiate his purview. (…) Wilber resorts to his over-used schematic of color-coding, which as I have pointed out previously is a cheap form of New Age reductionism. Human beings are not monochromatic and any theory that resorts to such labeling is intellectually lazy. (…) Has anyone done a survey of the entire 7 billion people on terra firma to find out “how” Integral they are? Using numbers like this in such a haphazard and imprecise fashion is dishonest and (the pun is revealing) lacking in integrity. In Ken Wilber's recent e-book, Trump and a Post-Truth World, which is filled with a rich array of pregnant opinions, he tends to over generalize using very questionable statistics to support his claims. In this regard, he is all over the map when he employs numbers that appear impossible to justify, much less verify as being based on sound scientific surveying methods. Why Wilber is so sloppy in this regard makes one wonder if he is only interested in propping up his Integral map to those who are already converted. (…) Instead of providing us with parenthetical nuances (a necessary caveat for anyone truly interested in engaging an intellectually honest inquiry), Wilber, as is his pernicious habit, provides us instead with universal caricatures, (…) Couldn't Wilber make this same point without making things up that he cannot possibly know to be true? (…) In fact, I personally don't know of one professor in my some three decades of teaching who holds such a solipsistic belief. Where does Wilber come up with such a percentage? Well, the answer is obvious: he makes it up since in order to derive such a statistic it would necessitate polling all university teachers in the United States and elsewhere and posing the question in the very format he frames it. Wilber does his overall argument about our current political turmoil a great disservice by bastardizing it with phantom numbers. (…) Here again Wilber inappropriately “reifies” evolution and anthropomorphizes it as possessing conscious intention (…). But evolution isn't a thing or a person or a self-aware entity, it is rather a human concept to describe how nature changes over time due to varying environmental conditions. (…) What is more disturbing, however, is that Ken Wilber implies that “evolution” has more or less “created” Donald Trump in its attempt to readdress “green's” collapse and which has led to “extreme political correctness”—all due to “aperspectival madness” rampant amongst the cultural elite. This not only a silly answer to why Donald Trump got elected (keeping in brackets for the moment that evolution is void of “intention”), but one which overlooks the very obvious fact that Hillary Clinton won the general election by nearly 3 million votes. (…) evolution has absolutely nothing to do with why Donald Trump won. Political strategies and a series of unexpected contingencies played their part and most of it has to do with enthusiasm (or the lack thereof) for the two candidates involved. (…) I have criticized Ken Wilber's color coding before in an article entitled “Integral Apartheid” because such monochromatic labeling is what Daniel Dennett rightly refers to as “cheap reductionism” since it overly simplifies human behavior and attitudes. Besides being intellectually lazy as a shorthand form of psychological stereotyping, Wilber's overuse of it, as we will see in his e-book on Trump, lulls the reader into inappropriately reifying (“making a thingy out of an abstraction”) colors as objective features. This has the unwanted effect of creating the illusion that such chroma-casting is how different perspectives operate in a real world. (…) Reducing human intentions, ideas, and behaviors to colors is no different than reducing them to numbers, since both are merely indolent truncations that avoid a deeper and qualifying analysis. There is no need to rush our intellectual appraisements. Given Wilber's modus operandi, we might as well use emojis when discoursing on politics. (…) Wilber's color coding is ripe for parody and so it should be since Wilber's consistent lack of nuance, misuse of statistics, and indulgent hyperboles detracts from some of the larger points he is attempting to make. It also tends to get lost in a sea of generalizations, where specificity is warranted. In going over his e-book, I thought it might be amusing to see how many times he uses the word “green”, keeping in mind that its repeated usage is his way to short circuit a deeper and more nuanced argument. After counting over 100 times that he used the word “green” I gave up even though I knew there were more to be had. [it is 254] (…) Wilber goes onto a rant where he blames academia for almost everything that has gone bad in the world and how University liberalism (and the notion of “no objective truth”) has spoiled all that it touches. (…) Why does Wilber sink to such categorical nonsense? (…) No, academia is not the Frankenstein-like parent of all the “green madness” we see in the world and the Internet. What happened is a bit simpler and more complex than what Wilber proclaims. (…) Yet, here Wilber is also being disingenuous and betraying the very “integral” approach he so stridently argues (…) More precisely, how trustworthy is Wilber if he only provides us with one side of an issue? (…) Although Ken Wilber has been described variously as a Pandit, a Scholar, a New Age Philosopher, and a Synthesizer, I find that he is mostly a preacher for his own self-styled religion, Integralism. Now, to be sure, Wilber doesn't view his vast theorizing as advertising a new cult. Rather, he sees himself advocating an all-inclusive, all quadrants, all levels meta view of human development. Yet, percolating underneath his entire superstructure is a deeply held theological doctrine that evolution is driven by a divine purpose, what he has variously called Eros. Even though he has been severely criticized on several fronts (most astutely by Frank Visser) over his misunderstanding of biological evolution, Wilber persists in pushing his own version of intelligent design, dressed up in quasi-scientific garb. It is, in sum, Ken Wilber's creation story and it is essentially a religious myth he is peddling, even if he continually preaches otherwise. (…) Ken Wilber writes repeatedly as if evolution is a power in itself, continually conflating a descriptive marker with a prescriptive one. Wilber might as well say that Gravity (with a capital “G”) is consciously intending to create black holes, supernovas, and expanding galaxies. Wilber's constant references to evolution planning to do something or acting as some self-reflective correcting mechanism is a not so sophisticated form of animism, where one imputes “souls” and “personalities” to trees, to rocks, to mountains . . . or, in his case, “Eros driven evolution.” Yes, Wilber may wish to believe such, but this is to completely misunderstand evolutionary biology and to replace it with his peculiar version of intelligent design. In other words, Wilber is providing us with his own Integral creation myth and preaching as if it is somehow a progressive scientific view when, in fact, it is nothing more than New Age theology. Wilber is an AQAL preacher par excellence, despite his protestations that he is a “leading edge” theoretician on the very frontiers of science. What he does, instead, is cut off real science and replace it with his own “ism” so as to convince us that evolution has a goal. (…) Wilber's animism is misplaced when it comes to natural selection and because he has built his entire Integral edifice upon such a mistaken understanding, his meta-theory has one very large, gaping hole in it. Wilber repeatedly invokes evolution in a purely teleological sense (…). Not surprisingly, Wilber neglects to explain why the vast majority of working biologists don't subscribe to his theopneustic version of creationism, since that would necessitate actually engaging in a real scientific debate about neo-Darwinism. (…) Perhaps Wilber would be better off if he stopped using the word evolution when he really means to suggest “divine impulse.” In any case, almost every time Wilber invokes the word “evolution” it is distinctly different than what biologists working in the field mean by it. Keep in mind that Wilber's dogmatic assertions concerning evolution's directional aim, is quite at odds with how most scientists view it. (…) Given that Wilber hasn't budged from his Eros driven agenda as theengine behind change in the universe, it is therefore not surprising that his “integral logic” can with a straight face imply that Donald Trump is somehow divinely ordained since he was needed to counter-balance the mean green meme which has wrought such havoc on the world! Wilber is preaching a creationist gospel here, even if it is dolled up in pseudo-scientific garb. And like the good preacher that he is, Wilber ends his e-book with his own god-inspired sermon (…) It is to be sure an uplifting message, but make no mistake it is a theologically driven one from start to finish. After the homilies I used to hear in my Catholic Church, the ushers were quick to pass the plates to secure our money, particularly if it was a powerful and moving talk. Ken Wilber, like the priests and ministers before him, also follows suit and is not shy to recruit for new members to his Integral Church with the following plea”
Frank Visser: “Why does Wilber opt for such a fancy view of the science of physics and chemistry? Is he not aware of how science explains these things? Is this seriously how integral philosophy is trying to make a name in the mainstream world? (…) The disturbing thing is not that Wilber, who claims to be on top of this field because he (almost) graduated as biochemist, makes these errors, but that he refuses to correct or even to reflect on them, when these are pointed out to him. Again, discussion on this issue has been tough, if not impossible. This has not increased my faith in integral philosophy. Claiming deeper knowledge up front, without actually knowing the details of a complex scientific field can be so off putting. It is one thing to convince the layman with catchy metaphors and rhetoric, to persuade him or her into an uplifting spiritual philosophy of life, it is something else to stand before the community of specialists and defend your case there. Wilber seems to have a bias towards growth, development and increasing complexity, at the expense of the opposites: entropy, chaos, death. If there is an Eros in the Kosmos, as Wilber consistently claims, a force that creates larger and larger units of complexity, where does that leave Thanatos, the force of destruction and decay? And which one would win out in the end? (…) Entropy, or disorder, according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, is ever increasing in the universe. Things fall apart. (…) Integral Theory is not a Theory of Everything if it doesn't fully embrace science. At the moment this is not the case. Wilber misrepresents aspects of physics and biology. Though the integral approach is now widely called “evolutionary”, Wilber has never engaged evolutionary theory in any depth and has misrepresented its basic tenets. "Evolutionary" has become a popular label in integral circles for its manifold activities. A whole superstructure of "evolutionary anything" has been built upon these shaky foundations. This is not even an irony, it is a travesty. (…) The integral community consists mostly of therapists, consultants and coaches, who are largely ignorant of the domain of science. The integral community lacks the expertise and the interest in this fundamental domain of reality.”
Ken Wilber: “The standard, glib, neo-Darwinian explanation of natural selection – absolutely nobody believes this anymore. Evolution clearly operates by Darwinian natural selection, but this process simply selects those transformations that have already occurred by mechanisms that absolutely nobody understands.”
David Christopher Lane: “Having taught Darwinian evolution (and its various manifestations, included punctuated equilibrium) in grammar school, in high school, in community college, in university and in doctoral programs, for the past seventeen years I must say that Wilber’s take on what evolution is about baffles me. Not only is Wilber inaccurate about how evolution is presently viewed among working biologists (remember Wilber says absolutely nobody believes this anymore- tell that to the two most popular writers on evolution today) but he is just plain wrong in his understanding of the details of how natural selection operates. One can only wonder how well he has read Darwin, or Gould, or Mayr, or Dawkins, or Wilson, or even Russell. (…) Wilber does not seem to understand that the processes of evolution are blind. He wants to have it open-eyed as if natural selection all of sudden wakes up when it hears that a wing has been formed (better start chugging) or that an eye has been completed (let’s fine tune now). Natural selection does not start when the eye is formed; it works all along without any conscious intention whatsoever. Moreover, his presentation of how evolution is viewed today is so skewed that Wilber has more in common with creationists than evolutionists, even though he is claiming to present the evolutionists’ current view. (…) If Wilber cannot accurately portray the underlying pretext of his holonic system, then why should materialists-empiricists believe his trans-rational real theory? (…) Richard Dawkins himself in his book, River Out of Eden (not to be confused with Wilber’s other misguided view of evolution, Up from Eden), take Wilber to task (and in so doing prima facie show Wilber that his hyperbole is precisely that: exaggerations that misconstrue the truth). (…) What makes Wilber’s remarks on evolution so egregious is not that he is more or less a closet creationist with Buddhist leanings, but that he so maligns and misrepresents the current state of evolutionary biology, suggesting that he is somehow on top of what is currently going on in the field. And Wilber does it by exaggeration, by false statements, and by rhetoric license. (…) Wilber’s illustrates a basic lack of understanding. In the terminology that I have been using, Wilber looks for the Super-Context, forgetting in the process that every text has a pretext and every context is grounded in the holonic realm that precedes it. Wilber seems to forget his own theological leanings (…) This is why I hesitate when he [Wilber] says, And Buddha-nature exists in the causal worldspace, and can be easily seen by anybody who develops to that very real dimension of their own state possibilities. It would be one thing to say that in certain elevated states one can experience something that may be interpreted by contemplators to be akin to what some Buddhists have called Buddha-nature, but it is quite another to reify (as Wilber is prone to do) what a certain state provides. (…) I wish Wilber would stay within the bounds of reasonableness where he makes strong and believable arguments for exploring differing realms of consciousness. Where he loses me and where he sinks into spiritual platitudes is when he then moves beyond open exploration (with the operative word being open) and writes theological puffery such as, As you approach the causal your Awareness will begin to profoundly unwind and uncoil in the vast expanse of All Space, and you will be opened to states of increasing Radiance, Freedom, Love, Consciousness, and Bliss or Happiness. Your separate-self sense will begin to dissolve in a pure feeling of I AM-ness, and your own highest Self will increasingly come to the fore, marked by being grounded in the timeless Now or Pure Presence in the Present. As you break through into causal consciousness without an object, or Pure Subjectivity, you will recognize your True Condition as spaceless and infinite, timeless and eternal, Free and Transparent, Unborn and Undying. You will meet your own Original Face, or Divine Spirit itself, naked and spontaneous, all pervading and all-embracing, a state from which you have never really deviated and could not possibly deviate, but one that has been there all along, in every moment as the simple Feeling of Being. You will have a profound sense of ‘coming home,’ met often with torrents of grateful tears and gales of endless laughter. You have, after all these painful years, arrived at your Native Condition, which does not recognize the name of suffering, is a stranger to the pain of existence, is alien to weeping, cannot pronounce agony. And then, when somebody asks you, ‘Does God Exist?,’ you will be able to answer them based on direct personal experience, ‘Yes, and I have seen It myself.’ The problem with such statements as I have seen It [God] myself is that it lacks skepsis and tends by its very language to cut off further discussion or inquiry. Wilber’s continued use of such flowery descriptors (…) suggests that his real goal is to bring us to into his theological ballroom, but in order to accomplish this he misleadingly dresses us up with plausible personal and scientific possibilities. (…) Perhaps if Wilber spent more time with critics of his works like Visser, Falk, Meyerhoff, [Lane] and others, than with questionable sycophants such as the now disgraced Andrew Cohen, he could better understand why erstwhile admirers of his work are not rushing into his peculiar worldspace.”
Tom Floyd: “True enough, Wilber is an exaggerator and a misuser of absolutist terms of the highest, perhaps even non-dual, order, but he did forewarn us in BRIEF HISTORY that the style was colloquial rather that rigorous. Still that’s no excuse for his exaggerations. (…) Wilber has absolutized his way off the scale by claiming that ALL modern evolutionary scholars share his views and interpretations of punctuated equilibria of evolution. (…) Wilber overstates his case with absolutes and exaggerations.”
G. Falk: “Even aside from that, however, it is not clear where the assertion that Bohm had “originally explained” that the implicate and explicate entities (and thus orders) were “mutually exclusive” could have come from, other than a disturbing lack of understanding, on Wilber’s part, of both the analogy and the actual quantum orders themselves. (…)Wilber has fundamentally misunderstood and grossly misrepre-sented Bohm’s ideas, here. For again, nowhere did Bohm ever “originally explain” that the explicate and implicate orders are mu-tually exclusive, as Ken Wilber wrongly claims. Indeed, had Bohm ever done that, he would have been radically misunderstanding the most basic nature of his own Nobel-caliber theories. (…) In any case, the super-implicate order itself, as Bohm explic-itly noted, does not require “any further assumptions beyond what is implied in physics today.” That is, contrary to Wilber’s misled claims, it most certainly is “based on empirical findings in physics.” (…)We have thus seen that Wilber’s claim that the implicate and explicate orders are mutually exclusive is not at all valid. Also, contrary to Ken Wilber’s assertions, Bohm’s super-implicate order was not merely an arbitrary addition to his earlier work. And, we have very good reason to regard reality as having a holographic structure. All of those distinguishing characteristics of Bohm’s work, further, are most certainly “based on empirical findings in physics.” (…)first in terms of the evolving reputation of Bohm’s ideas, and then with regard to the documented support from recent physics for those same ideas. In doing so, we shall see that Wilber has unabashedly misrepresented the realities of both of those. (…)Taking all of that into account, the best that one can say about the assertion (by Wilber) that Bohm’s ontological interpretation “has no support whatsoever from recent physics” is that that idea itself is wholly unsupportable. One might hope that Wilber’s perspective on this subject had improved in the twenty-plus years since his original “strong” critique of Bohm. Unfortunately, however, such is not the case, (…). Wilber’s suggestion that Bohm’s development of gradations or levels in the implicate order had anything to do with Bohm trying to “qualify the unqualifiable” is wholly without validity. More specifically, the notion that Bohm’s ideas arose from him being “unfamiliar with the subtleties of Shunyata” is completely misplaced. (…) As far as Bohm’s brilliant ideas being “bad physics” goes, we have already seen that numerous top-flight physicists (among them Richard Feynman, J. S. Bell and Ilya Prigogine), have given a more informed view. Their endorsements of Bohm’s ideas, versus Wilber’s disparaging of the same, further have absolutely nothing to do with Wilber possessing a nondual One Taste realization or even an intellectual understanding of spirituality which they might lack. Rather, those individuals are simply professionals who understand physics at a level which Wilber clearly does not. They are thus able to recognize groundbreaking, sensible ideas in that field when they see them. (…) Bohm is thus guilty of neither “bad physics” nor of “bad mysticism.” Wilber, however, is embarrassingly culpable, if not for both of those, then for the worse repeated violence against a mere “straw man” misrepresentation, created by no one but himself, of Bohm’s ideas. Amazingly, none of the points discussed here require an advanced understanding of physics or mathematics in order for one to sort fact from fiction. Rather, all that they ever required was for one to read Bohm’s self-popularized ideas carefully, and thus to properly understand them. (…) Rather, all that one has to do is to look at what Bohm actually said in print, and compare that with Wilber’s presentation of the same ideas—often in the same (1982) book, no less—to see the glaring distortions in the latter. (…) For the present purposes, as we have seen, all that one has to do in order to see the relevant misrepresentations of Bohm’s work by Wilber is to “A-B” Bohm versus Wilber. In doing so, one will again readily recognize that where Bohm himself explicitly calls something “white,” Wilber is claiming that Bohm has called it “black,” and then deriding him for that, from no more than a strawman perspective of Bohm’s work, which Wilber himself has solely created. (…)Wilber’s facile arguments against Darwinian evolution “dismiss one of the greatest scientific ideas ever in a few paragraphs” of what can only charitably be called gross misrepresentations. And having gotten away with that sleight-of-mind, Ken Wilber does exactly the same thing to another of the truly “greatest scientific ideas” ever—in Bohm’s Nobel-caliber re-formulation of quantum mechanics—in a comparable number of indefensibly misrepresentative paragraphs. Interestingly, Albert Einstein himself—a man not prone to en-dorsing epicycles or “simplistic notions”—considered David Bohm to be his “intellectual successor” and “intellectual son” (Peat, 1997): It was Einstein who had said, referring to the need for a radical new quantum theory, ´if anyone can do it, then it will be Bohm´. (…)When Wilber criticizes Bohm for his own wrong perceptions in seeing tacked-on “epicycles” in the latter’s work, then, he is doing very nearly ex-actly what he rightly will not accept in argument from his own crit-ics. (Wilber’s detractors are focusing, in his above claim, on dis-crediting an older version of his work which he has since improved upon. He himself, by comparison, is effectively criticizing Bohm for having made comparable improvements in his [Bohm’s] own later work. Those are not identical positions, but at the very least they show Wilber being intolerant of behaviors in others which he gladly accepts from himself.) (…) Throughout the 1980s, Bohm was a near guru-figure to the “holographic” New Age movement—a position obviously coveted intensely by Wilber, and reason enough for him to do all he could to discredit his primary “competitor.” Significantly, following his (1998) misrepresentations of Bohm’s work, and even while utterly failing to respond to Lane’s (1996) devastating deconstruction of his foibles, Wilber himself again expressed the following confident opinion: Until this critique is even vaguely answered, I believe we must consider Bohm’s theory to be refuted.”
Ken Wilber: “When you look at quantum mechanics you do not see a unified reality, but instead a very long, abstract, analytical string of very complicated Schrodinger partial differential equations –that’s it, that’s all you see. (…) Further, as for being the leading edge of modern physics, quantum mechanics (…) has long been complemented by things like string theory or M-theory as the leading edge in modern physics; and far from showing a unified world, those new theories postulates the existence of literally hundreds of different universes or multiverses, all disconnected and with little in common. Hardly an example of nondual unity consciousness.”
EVIDENCE 16: PSEUDO-PHILOSOPHY
Ken Wilber: “[Steiner] was an extraordinary pioneer ... and one of the most comprehensive psychological and philosophical visionaries of his time.”
Rudolf Steiner: “When a Rmoahals [Steiner’s name when referring to an Atlantean sub-race] man pronounced a word, this word developed a power similar to that of the object it designated. Because of this, words at that time were curative; they could advance the growth of plants, tame the rage of animals, and perform other similar functions (…) [I]n the Lemurian and even in the Atlantean period, stones and metals were much softer than later (…) [M]an lived as a plant being in the Sun itself (…) [Regarding the women] Everything was animated for them and showed itself to them in soul powers and apparitions.... That which impelled them to their reaction were inner voices, or what plants, animals, stones, wind and clouds, the whispering of the trees, and so on, told them.... If with his consciousness man could raise himself into [the] supersensible world, he would be able to greet the ant or bee spirit there in full consciousness as his sister being. The seer can actually do this.” “[T]he human body had been provided with an eye that now no longer exists, but we have a reminder of this erstwhile condition in the myth of the One-Eyed Cyclops. (…)The forms of [the first] animals would, in the present day, strike us as fabulous monsters, for their bodies (and this must be carefully kept in mind) were of the nature of air.... Another group of physical beings had bodies which consisted of air-ether, light-ether and water, and these were plant-like beings...”
Geoffrey D. Falk: “Rudolf [Steiner] himself was the head of the German branch of the Theosophical Society until being expelled from that in 1913 for illegal (according to the rules of the Society) activities. From that split, he founded his own Anthroposophical Society, beginning with fifty-five ex-members of the TS, from which the Waldorf phenomenon in general has grown. (…) Steiner, meanwhile, taught the existence of a Lord of the Dark Face, an evil entity by the name of Ahriman—the spirit of materialism. That disruptive being, he felt, had been making trouble in the world since 1879 when the Archangel Michael took over the divine guidance of mankind and began a cosmic process of enlightenment (…) notice that Wilber, in Chart 4B of his (2000b) Integral Psychology, presents a mapping of Steiner’s nine levels of reality to the correlative basic structures of psychology in his own Four-Quadrant Theory of Everything. (That same book is intended as a textbook of transpersonal psychology. Its mapped levels include astral bodies and the like.) Yet, the perception of auras, if real, would come via the same clairvoyant faculties and subtle bodies as would be used to read the akashic records. Did Steiner then see auras clearly, but hallucinate his purported akashic readings? Or was he equally imagining both? Either way, how does Wilber justify mapping Steiner’s levels of reality to his own theories, while ignoring the remainder of what Steiner devoutly claims to have experienced through the same purported means? (…)Wilber’s endorsement of Steiner means either that he has read so little of Rudolf’s work that he is unaware of the “farther reaches” of it ... or that he is aware of those fantasies-presented-as-fact, but still con-siders the man to be an insightful “visionary” and “extraordinary pioneer” in (clairvoyance-based) psychology and philosophy. Given Wilber’s history with Da’s coronas and shabd yoga, those two options seem equally plausible. (Wilber has evidently hardly read into the latter yoga at all, yet still presents himself as an expert, fit to determine who the top yogis of that path are [see Lane, 1996].) (…) And note again how KEN WILBER’s complimentary appraisal of Steiner is, as usual, offered as no mere opinion, but is rather given as if it were an indisputable fact”
Rudolf Steiner (1947) [Saying that progressing student’s ascent into the higher worlds involves a meeting with the Guardian of the Threshold]: “[T]he Guardian of the Threshold is an (astral) figure, revealing itself to the student’s awakened higher sight.... It is a lower magical process to make the Guardian of the Thresh-old physically visible also. That was attained by producing a cloud of fine substance, a kind of frankincense resulting from a particular mixture of a number of substances. The developed power of the magician is then able to mould the frank-incense into shape, animating it with the still unredeemed karma of the individual.... What is here indicated in narrative form must not be understood in the sense of an allegory, but as an experience of the highest possible reality befalling the esoteric student”
Peter Washington: “The audiences for [Steiner’s theosophical lectures] were at first very small. Happily, Steiner showed no concern, claiming that the audience was swelled by invisible spiritual beings and the dead, eager for the occult knowledge they could not, apparently, acquire in the Other World.”
James Webb: “Anthroposophical medicine seems to be based partly on magical theories of correspondence—for example cholera is a punishment for insufficient self-confidence and the pox for lack of affection. Today the Anthroposophists run clinics, a mental hospital, and a factory for medicines which has mar-keted a cancer cure.”
Anthony Storr: “(Steiner) belief system is so eccentric, so unsupported by evidence, so manifestly bizarre, that rational skeptics are bound to consider it delusional.... [H]is so-called thinking, his supposed power of super-sensible perception, led to a vision of the world, the universe, and of cosmic history which is entirely unsupported by any evidence, which is at odds with practically everything which modern physics and astronomy have revealed, and which is more like science fiction than anything else.”
International Buddhist Ethics Committee: Additionally, Wilber has misinterpreted several authors to whom he quoted, as evidenced by the following testimonies about authors of philosophy, psychology, and other sciences.
Michael Washburn: “Wilber’s exposition of my ideas in his response is marred by egregious misrepresentations.... Wilber formulates my view backwards ... [and] attributes his own metaphysical assumptions to me.”
Stanislav Grof: “Some of the concepts or statements that Ken attributes to me and criticizes me for, have not been part of any stage of my intellectual evolution.”
V. Walter Odajnyk: “Wilber’s criticism of Jung’s notion of archetypes is misinformed. Contrary to what Wilber states, Jung does refer to the archetypes as “the patterns upon which all other mani-festations are based”.... [Further,] contrary to what Wilber claims, Jung does not locate the archetypes only at the beginning of the evolution- ary spectrum—they are present both at the beginning and at the end.... The spirit Mercurius is the archetype that expresses the notion, stated much too generally by Wilber, that “the ascent of consciousness was drawn toward the archetypes by the archetypes themselves.” Far from being a criticism of Jung, this was Jung’s discovery and not Wilber’s.... [Likewise,] it is Jung and not Wilber who first proposed clear distinctions among “collective prepersonal, collective personal, and collective transpersonal” elements of the psyche (…). Even worse for Wilber’s reputation, his oft-given claim of a consensus in the developmental-psychology field with regard to Piaget’s studies is demonstrably false”
C. Cowan: “[Wilber’s presentations of Spiral Dynamics] twist the theory and contain glib oversimplifications and biases ... which reflect neither the nuances nor the intent of this theory. There is frequent confusion of values with Value Systems. He also seems to have trouble differentiating the levels of psychological existence from personality traits ... and grossly misunderstands and overplays the “tier” notion.... Much of the material demonstrates a very limited grasp of the underlying theory ... he’s wrong far more often than there’s any excuse for. Thus, the supposed SD foundation on which he builds so many arguments is fundamentally, fatally flawed.... [Wilber] is putting out impressive-sounding junk and nonsense that must be undone if the integrity of the model is to be protected. There’s no excuse for it” “Because Wilber tries to apply but doesn’t actually understand Gravesian theory, he confuses the levels/colors like a novice. He doesn’t know green from orange or yellow. Thus, the elaborate arguments he lays out are constructed on quicksand.... And because he sounds authoritative, newcomers to SD will believe they’re getting a valid overview of Graves/SD”
G. Falk: “Wilber has completely misrepresented the truth that half-wings do exist, and have been documented as existing since Darwin’s own Origin of Species. That has nothing to do with any (excusable) popularizing of Wilber’s theories on his own part. Rather, it is simply a gross and brutally dishonest misrepresentation of basic facts by him, to suit his own “integral” purposes. That is true independent of whether or not Ken Wilber understands how evolution works. (…) Plus, the points on which Ken Wilber has messed up are literally taught in high school. For whom was he then “dumbing down” those ideas, if even high-school students can understand them in their real nature? (…) So what we have here from Wilber is no documented facts, no relevant details, just his “Einsteinian” authority, his rampant hyperbole, and a laughable appeal to other discredited “thinkers” to back up his own claims to expertise. (…) simple popularizations of integral theories, were those to be done with proper forthrightness. It is rather just an appeal to basic intellectual hon-esty and minimal academic competence. Other fields of knowledge have that. That is what makes them worth spending time understanding. (…) Where is the same integrity in Ken Wilber when he gets caught provably fabricating information in an attempt to either support his own “theories” or discredit the work of his “competitors”? Interestingly, in addition to his gross misrepresentations of high-school-level evolutionary theory, Wilber has equally falsely presented the facts of animal warfare and cannibalism. (…) Note, though, that even when Ken Wilber has updated his “expert” knowledge (as of 2003), he is still more than twenty-five years behind anything resembling a competent, current understanding of the field. (…) Without a satisfactory demonstration of the reality of such spiritual experiences, integral “Theories of Everything” might as well be theories of leprechauns, unicorns and Santa Claus. (…) Even if Ken Wilber (and Alexander himself) hasn’t confused correla-tion with causation, though—and we will see shortly that they have thus confused things—he is still basing an awful lot of the practical side of his “integral religion” on a few admittedly flawed studies. As a basis for either a science or a philosophy, that is a miserably inadequate approach. (…) The problem with Wilber’s presentation of that (meditative) research, though, is that unless he has some other (unidentified) source for those claims, he is conflating several different studies into one—and that latter study, as he presents it, was never actually performed (…). Yet Ken Wilber presents it, either foolishly or dishonestly, as if it had actually been inarguably proved in controlled studies. It is an assumption which is potentially open to all kinds of selection biases, etc. (…) So, when Wilber says that four years of meditation got 38 percent of subjects to the “integral level,” that’s just plain false, from a man who cannot even quote the protocols from a simple longitudinal study accurately. (…)Wilber’s aforementioned excoriating of New Age believers for their innocent position on healing cannot be meant simply to “spiritually awaken them.” On the contrary, their deni-grated view simply demands more responsibility than he evidently wishes to ascribe to human actions—including his own and those of his late wife. Indeed, that belief in the power of the mind, whether valid or not, is no more (and no less) pre-rational or magical than is Ken Wilber’s own acceptance of psychic phenomena, and his own acknowledged (even if merely imagined) perception of subtle energy flows, from claimed healers and otherwise. (…) He is doing it to reserve high integrality only for meditative beings such as himself, regardless of how superior the behavior of others may be in practice when compared to his own ideas and character. (…)That the mess which Ken Wilber has created in his “great breakthroughs” over the past three decades isn’t even remotely logically consistent. (…) And that is worthy of being called philosophy, or even just competent scholarship? (…)Wilber’s Up from Eden was based on a vision he once had of the spiritual-evolutionary unfolding of the kosmos, in ontogeny and phylogeny. That alone should have been a glaring red flag, regarding the man’s inability to dis-tinguish reality from his own fantasies/fabrications. Of course, Wilber claims (falsely) to be accurately representing the “agreed-upon-knowledge” in the fields which he includes in his four quadrants, thus conveniently giving himself a free pass on the difficulties of commenting on or evaluating areas in which he has no formal training and has made no recognized, peer-reviewed academic contributions. (…) Reading that fine collection of documented misrepresentations by Ken Wilber, it again becomes obvious that he either has not understood (even at an undergraduate level) the basic knowledge in the fields which he purports to be synthesizing or, if he has understood it, he is uncon-scionably twisting/misrepresenting it to suit his “theories,” and expecting to get away with that (…). No competent, honest person could be as consistently wrong as Wilber is in (mis)representing other scholars’ positions to make them appear as if they support his own. (…) Wilber’s mistakes are indeed always in support of his particular point of view. And for that, he has been subjected to a good amount of spicy criticism, from myself in particular. (…) So, the pattern has always been there, in terms of Wilber’s despicably unprofessional methods of responding to even his most overly respectful critics. It has been there, too, in his egregious misrepresentations of the ideas of his sources, being always twisted only as to support his own position. (…) Wilber has, predictably, treated Bohm (and his memory) with nothing but unkindness. Do you imagine, then, that he would behave any more nobly toward his contemporary peers—or friends, or lovers—were they to equally threaten his high place in the integral world by doing far superior work to his own? Or, were they even just to fail to give him unconditional support, thus putting themselves at risk of be-ing disowned from his integral world. Or would he more likely misrepresent their work as unapologetically and insultingly as he has done of Bohm’s, (…) And what friends might then stand by his side to claim, even years after the fact, that he had committed no such misrepresentation, even when the incontrovertible facts say exactly the opposite? Of course, we already saw confirmation of all that in the behaviors of Wilber and his followers (…) the potential loss of that valued status would bring great fear to the surface. (…)Ken Wilber may have garnered some “temporary fame and ex-citement” for his “cargo cult philosophy”—having always “bent over backwards” in exactly the wrong way, to obfuscate/ignore facts which did not mesh with his “theories.” But that “success” is fairly meaningless, being achieved only in a field of “scholarship” populated by admirers who simply don’t know any better, and who will fight their critics, tooth and nail, should the latter try to present them with thorough research which utterly discredits their system of beliefs. The truth will indeed come out. And, in the end, the world will know Wilber for the foolish, authoritarian pretender he has always been. (…)Wilber’s presentation of the various disciplines and perspec-tives which (he claims) support his integral theories, too, is so dis-torted and regularly false that it “isn’t even history.” (…) Friedrich Nietzsche—a real philoso-pher, who didn’t need to substitute fairy tales for reality and then pretend that that was an improvement rooted in his own exalted “second-tier spiritual realization.” (…) Wilber has been called the “Einstein of consciousness re-search”? Yes, indeed he has. But more accurately, he has been called the “Einstein of consciousness research” by his own literary agent. (…) (Wilber) behaviors read like a textbook case of clinical narcissism, while his professional activities and even his method of working test the limits of academic incompetence (…) But, what happens when you are not merely superficially-read across a large number of fields, but actually go back to Wilber’s original sources, to verify the support which he claims from them? Well, you consistently find that he has, provably, quite unconscionably misrepresented those same fields in order to make them “fit” with what he wants the “truth” to be. Conversely, without that brutal misrepresentation of the facts, he could again never have (falsely) “integrated” all of the fields of knowledge which he pre-tends to have covered. (…) So if, after all of this, you still believe that Ken Wilber’s vaunted philosophy and life’s work are more than just the New Age effu-sions of an unconscionable, deluded/hallucinatory bullshit artist with little grasp on truth or reality, whose ideas are more than a profoundly negative, pre-rational force in the evolution of the spe-cies, and who has learned well from his reportedly abusive heroes how to manipulate others into thinking that the less they question his ideas the more “second tier” they are ... well, good luck to you. You’re going to need it.”
Gregory Desilet: “Wilber claimed that Derrida himself came to under-stand the overstatement of his case and in an interview published in Positions (1981) reversed himself by acknowledging the transcendental signifier/signified’s necessary role in lan-guage.... Wilber’s reading is a bad misreading. In fact, it is a misreading that twists what Derrida says into its opposite.... Wilber [further] misses a crucial part of the Derridean deconstructive critique of understanding, signification, and communication.... Wilber’s understanding of postmodernism remains shortsighted as he continues to insist that it does not imply what Derrida believes it implies.... Despite his sophistication, Wilber appears to have missed the point of deconstructive postmodernism.”
Marc Manson: “Integral Institute built their movement in order to influence academia, governmental policy, to get books and journals published, to infuse these ideas into the world at large. Yet, here we were, spending money to sit in a room performing various forms of meditation and yoga, having group therapy sessions, art performances, and generally going on and on about how 'integral' we were and how important we were to the world without seemingly doing anything on a larger scale about it. If you want to be a self-development seminar and motivate people, then be a self-development seminar and motivate people. If you want to be a formal institute and have serious effects on policy and academia, then do that. Don't half-ass both and muddy them with gratuitous talks and performances. The irony in all of this was that Wilber's integral framework applied to organizations and business and should have accounted for these branding issues, but didn't. The ironies would soon continue to mount. Following Wilber online, the conversation seemed to only become more and more insular. With an onslaught of problems in the world crying out for an integral perspective and solution—terrorism, the Iraq War, climate change, world hunger, financial crises—the silence coming from the Integral crowd was deafening. Major global and social issues were often only referred to in passing as descriptors for a certain level of consciousness development with the overarching implication being that 'they' are not as highly developed as 'we' are. (…) Instead, most conversations involved esoteric spiritual topics, impulsive self-expressionism, and re-explaining the integral model in 4,102 different ways. For a philosophy based on including and integrating as much as possible, its followers sure expressed it by forming a nicely-sealed bubble around themselves. Evidence of this came when Wilber's critics popped up. Experts in many of the fields Wilber claimed to have 'integrated' questioned or picked apart some of his assumptions. In Wilber's model, he uses what he refers to as 'orienting generalizations,' ways of summarizing entire fields of study in order to fit them together with other forms of knowledge. Wilber admits in his work that he's generalizing large topics and that there is not consensus in many fields, but that he's constructed these generalizations to reflect the basic and agreed-upon principles of each field of study. Well, a number of experts began questioning Wilber's choice of sources, and claimed that what he portrayed as consensus in some fields such as developmental psychology or sociology, it turned out there was still quite a bit of debate and uncertainty around some of Wilber's 'basic' conclusions. Often, what Wilber portrayed as the 'consensus' of a certain field actually amounted to an obscure or minority position. Critics also picked apart Wilber's model itself, showing minor contradictions in it. And a number of people caught on to his shockingly meek understanding of evolutionary biology and his puzzling insinuations of intelligent design. Wilber's eventual response to many of these critics was nothing short of childish—a dozen-or-so page (…) verbal shit-storm that clarified nothing, justified nothing, personally attacked everyone, and straw-manned the shit out of his critics' claims. For many, that was the day the intellectual giant fell, the evolution stopped, the so-called 'Einstein of consciousness' took his ball and went home. From there, the integral movement began to sputter. Rabbi Marc Gafni, a spiritual leader whom Wilber aligned himself and even co-sponsored seminars with, was later indicted in Israel for child molestation. Despite this, Wilber and his movement refused to distance themselves or repudiate him. In fact, the whole integral scene doubled down, claiming that its critics were 'first-tier thinkers,' and were coming up with lies in order to attack a greater, higher level of consciousness that it didn't understand. (…) Wilber's work had yet to be tested or peer-reviewed in a serious journal. Much of his posting online devolved into bizarre spiritual claims (such as this one about an 'enlightened teacher' who can make crops grow twice as fast by 'blessing them'). (…) But ultimately, (Wilber) was done in by his pride, his need for control and, well, ironically his ego. (…) Wilber was a baby boomer in the US through the 60's and 70's. He came up through many of that generation's eastern spiritual movements. These movements were started by eastern teachers and subscribed to a dogma that an enlightened awareness could develop someone into a flawless individual, an immutable authority. Despite Wilber's massive understanding of human psychology and consciousness, he never seemed to shake this dogma. It followed Wilber through his career and eventually manifested itself in himself. When he was younger, he notoriously followed Adi Da, a spiritual leader who was later found to be sexually abusing female followers. Yet he stood by him. Later in his career, he also aligned with Andrew Cohen, a spiritual leader who was found to be physically and emotionally abusing his followers. And again, he stood by him. Why? Because Wilber maintained they had genuinely reached the farthest limits of human awareness and understanding. Wilber also showed me that a brilliant mind does not necessarily make a brilliant leader. Wilber bragged in an interview that he never planned anything at Integral Institute, because planning would not represent a 'second-tier' leadership. Despite massive funding, enthusiasm, brain power and demand, Integral Institute found a way to fail. (…) Wilber failed in the exact ways his own model predicted. His model champions the idea of transcending the ego, not negating it. (…) Yet he still succumbed to the same faults he warned us about. (…) But what he seems to have missed is that worshipping consciousness development itself, Wilber's so-called 'second-tier' thinking, leads to the same disastrous repercussions Wallace warned of: vanity, power, guilt, obsession. No one is immune. As humans, we have a tendency to cling to ideologies. Any positive set of beliefs can quickly turn malevolent once treated as ideology and not an honest intellectual or experiential pursuit of greater truth.”
Jeff Meyerhoff: “I examine the major areas Wilber weaves together into his integral synthesis and demonstrate the problems (and strengths) of his arguments, methods, underlying philosophy and use of sources. A cornerstone of postmodern understanding is that an overarching integration of knowledge of the kind Wilber attempts is not possible and that a radical plurality of perspectives is a fact of contemporary life. A type of perspectivism and relativism prevails which Wilber believes he has transcended, but which my analysis shows he has not. (…) His magnum opus Sex, Ecology, Spirituality (SES) is the basis of my interpretation, (…) I examine the validity of the arguments Wilber derives from his sources in each of the major areas he discusses. The focus here is on the evidence for his assertions, the logic of his arguments and the assumptions and problems of evolutionary and developmental models. My critique of Wilber's synthesis then examines his methodology. I claim that he does not actually use his own method of orienting generalizations and I describe the actual method he uses in its stead. I further show why any such method is unworkable at all. In the philosophical section, I explicate Wilber's unstated philosophical assumptions and show how they are both problematic in themselves and prejudiced against differing philosophical commitments which, because they contradict Wilber's assumptions, are excluded from his inclusive synthesis. (…) For his understanding of nature, Wilber relies upon the new sciences of complexity as summarized by Ervin Laszlo and Erich Jantsch. He writes that these are the new sciences dealing with these 'self-winding or 'self-organizing' systems . . . known collectively as the sciences of complexity which he calls the evolutionary systems sciences. (…) Seth Lloyd, of MIT and the Santa Fe Institute, e-mailed Horgan his 31 different definitions of complexity. These 31 definitions Horgan thought actually amounted to 45 definitions. Interestingly, none of the 28 names of scientists associated with the new sciences of complexity that Lloyd lists appear on Wilber's list of 10 scientists whose differing works he fits under the umbrella term complexity. The new sciences of complexity are very exciting, but they do not contain the orienting generalizations that Wilber needs. The works of Ervin Laszlo and Erich Jantsch contain interesting grand synthesizing visions, but to say that they represent the already-agreed-upon knowledge of the natural sciences is inaccurate. (…) Next we will examine the essential structure of Wilber's Kosmos to see how internally and factually consistent it is. (…) To enter the holarchic, holonic and four quadrant debates is to enter a thicket of intricate argumentation. Wilber's four quadrant model, and Wilber and Kofman's reformulation of the holon, have left fundamental inconsistencies which able commentators have identified, tried to sort out and correct. The corrections array themselves on a spectrum. In the middle is Wilber's problematic model. At one end is the work, mainly, of Gerry Goddard and Mark Edwards who, after defining the problems with Wilber's model, set out to save the model by multiplying the categories and quadrants and redefining and clarifying key terms. At the other end of the spectrum is Andrew P. Smith who, acknowledging the same problems, has constructed a one-scale model of hierarchy, in contrast to Wilber's four quadrant model. (…) Wilber described the structure of the Kosmos in SES, but problems later discovered necessitated a revision. At first, these revisions appear to create the neat, consistent classificatory scheme described above, but closer examination reveals questions and contradictions which cause fundamental problems with the scheme. These problems have been identified by the commentators on Wilber's system mentioned above (…). One of my central criticisms of Wilber's work is that he does not show enough respect for the intellectual debates which provide the evidence to validate his theory of everything. An ironic confirmation of this condition is that Wilber's work has spawned the type of responsible intellectual debate which I claim he does not respect. To double the irony, Wilber is again not respecting this flourishing debate of his own making. (…) That debate is conducted like a proper academic debate in which participants propose understandings, cite evidence, engage in dialogue, consider alternative interpretations, answer criticisms from colleagues and contend with anomalies. Wilber is outside this debate, yet unlike conventional academic debates which don't mention him, the contributors here appreciatively acknowledge his contribution and see themselves as building upon, working out and correcting his insights. Wilber does respond to critics, but the critics are usually more manageable than those who are finding fundamental problems with the core of his system and his application of it. His latest position is that he will not respond to critics (…), this doesn't make sense, since it will hinder the development of his own theory. The criticisms of these critics are so cogent and essential that I think it would serve him well to work with these critics as part of his process of correcting and developing his work. (…) The second irony regarding this debate spawned by Wilber's work is that it confirms my claim that Wilber does not use the orienting generalizations of academia. Here we see Wilber's work, supposedly based on the agreed upon, orienting generalizations of knowledge, creating a debate in which the fundamentals and the details of his work are questioned and countered by contending parties that have differing viewpoints regarding this material's theoretical concepts and facts of the matter. (…) According to Smith's own division between individual and social holons, molecules and tissues are social holons, not individual holons as in the Wilber/Kofman model. (…) Mark Edwards, who has written a seven part tribute, critique and reformulation of Wilber's model, extensively criticizes the validity of the Wilber/Kofman distinction between individual and social holons. His alternative dispenses with the Wilber/Kofman revisions and simply develops the model set out in SES by placing holons within their parental holarchy or evolutionary line to determine whether they are individual or collective holons. (…) A central concern of Wilber and Kofman is that Wilber's earlier formulation of the relationship between individual and social holons could be construed as justifying a totalitarian control of a social holon over the individual holons that constitute it. If a social holon has the same control over its individual holons that an individual holon has over the constituent holons that compose it, their conception of human societies would be one in which individuals would have no will of there own. (…) Wilber and Kofman's new formulation is wrong for two reasons. One, as with the distinction between individual and social holons, it doesn't hold up to scrutiny; and two, it suggests a confused view of how science works. Wilber and Kofman use a few examples to show that individual holons have more control over their constituent holons than do social holons over the individual holons that constitute them. (…) Wilber tries to demonstrate the looser bonds between social holons and their members by observing that society can remove a member by putting him or her into jail; this in contrast to an individual human holon that cannot simply remove a constituent part of itself, such as a vital organ. Yet prisoners are still a part of society and even societal exiles from the U.S. would still refer to themselves as Americans. Looked at in this way, one can never escape the social holons of which one is a member. (…) A second problem arises because of a mistaken view of science. Wilber and Kofman criticize systems theorists because, they say, these theorists construct hierarchies that subordinate individual holons to social holons to the same degree that senior individual holon's subordinate their constituent holons. For the individual human holon, say Wilber and Kofman, that is tantamount to totalitarianism: total control by the social holon of which it is a member. But what if the facts fit that description of the world better than Wilber and Kofman's politically correct version? Here is an instance when it is important to distinguish clearly between science and morality. (…) Smith describes the Wilber/Kofman definition of heaps as imprecise, even misleading and notes that most planets and Gaia, both of which Wilber classifies as social holons, fit the Wilber/Kofman definition of heaps. Heaps, Smith contends, are not a random assortment of holons, as defined by Wilber and Kofman. Instead, most heaps have a uniform composition. Smith then puts heaps on a spectrum of development with social holons, seeing them as a less developed stage of an emerging social holon. (…) This is especially true of the division between the heap category and other holons. One researcher might see puddles, sand dunes and piles of dust as belonging to the category of 'heap', but that might only be due to a lack of knowledge of the developmental dynamics involved in those types of entities and environments. To specialists on aquatic, geological, or desert environments, the seemingly inert and randomly assembled entities such as puddles/ponds, sand dunes/beaches, or piles of dirt/rocks may each be regarded as a complete holonic ecosystem in themselves. (…) Whether it is the revision of his ideas in SES or the original ideas themselves, it is evident that his understanding of the holon has fundamental flaws. (…) There are many anomalies and contradictions which show that the 20 tenets do not describe the 'laws'... as Wilber contends. (…) Wilber states that all individual and social holons follow the 20 tenets. These are the 'laws' or 'patterns' or 'tendencies' or 'habits' that all known holons seem to have in common. (…) The first tenet states that Reality as a whole is not composed of things or processes, but of holons. Composed, that is, of wholes that are simultaneously parts of other wholes, with no upward or downward limit. (…) Smith argues convincingly that the collections of these inert holons correspond to the definition of heaps rather than social holons and so are not a part of a larger whole that fits the definition of a holon. This directly contradicts tenet 1. Smith also notes that evolutionary development of the hierarchy is a profoundly selective process; while an immense variety of holons are produced at each level of existence, only a very small proportion of them continue to develop into higher levels of existence. This fact shows the selectivity of Wilber's mapping of the Kosmos, which emphasizes only a very small proportion of it. That small proportion being the one that leads to humanity. (…) Wilber has contradictorily objectified the Kosmos in an effort to integrate it. Since Wilber's integral holarchic conception must include everything, a tenet which pronounces a way in which reality is beyond every other conception of reality, reduces the Kosmos to this one way of viewing, when the whole point of his integral theory was to avoid reductionism and include all other established views. (…) Tenet 2 states that Holons display four fundamental capacities: self-preservation, self-adaptation, self-transcendence and self-dissolution [later renamed and redefined as self-immanence]. Self-preservation describes a holon's ability to maintain its identity over time. Wilber contrasts this with a holons self-adaptation which describes its ability to react to and be a part of its environment. Wilber says that these forces are in constant tension (…) So the two forces are opposed. Yet there are examples where the two forces are not opposed, but where more self-preservation produces more self-adaptation. (…) Wilber mentions as an example of the ‘constant tension’ ‘the battle between self-preservation and species-preservation’ But it is commonly understood in evolutionary biology that species preserve themselves because the individual members do all they can to preserve themselves. In that way, the members with the greatest survivability survive, ensuring a greater chance of species-preservation. (…) Tenet 3 states that we get novel emergence through self-transcendence. This means that the interactions of similar kinds of entities cause new properties not found in those entities to emerge. (…) Although Wilber states that Social holons emerge when individual holons commune, this is a misstatement because he doesn't want to argue that it is the communing of individual holons that produces the novel emergence that occurs through society. (…) Another problem arises for Wilber when he asserts that social holons emerge when individual holons commune. If this were true then a society, being an emergent property of communing individual holons, would be higher on the developmental hierarchy than the individual holons that compose it. Wilber's model is constructed around the premise that a holon has individual and social aspects which are at the same developmental level. The idea of society being a novel emergence over its individual members is the basis of Andrew Smith's critique of Wilber's holarchy and four quadrant model. (…) Tenet 4 states that holons emerge holarchically, which means that each new emerging whole embraces the parts that came together to create it. This is true for some holons and not for others. (…) It is not true for other holons, such as types of human social development, where prior social structures such as the stronger kinship and social relations in some tribal life are lost. (…) Wilber describes pathology as where one holon usurps its position in the totality. (…) Defining good and bad holarchies is a moral decision. Words like pathological, normal and natural mask this fact. Tenet 5 states that Each emergent holon transcends but includes its predecessor(s). (…) Yet Smith notes that in a cell, all of the lower holons can exist as both free (i.e., not components of the next higher stage) as well as bonded forms (in which they are components of the next higher stage). . . . some atoms exist free in cells (e.g., sodium and calcium ions), while others exist as components of small molecules. Some small molecules, in turn, exist free (individual amino acids), and some as components of polymers. On a higher level, An organism . . . contains cells that are not parts of cell units (gametes; red and white blood cells); cell units that are not parts of tissues, tissues that are not parts of organs, and so on. (…)Tenet 6 - The lower sets the possibilities of the higher; the higher sets the probabilities of the lower. (…) This sounds true, but the words possible and probable are elastic enough to be reversed. Isn't it true that the genes within an organism determine the probability of that organism getting cancer or not? Isn't that an instance of the lower - the genes - establishing probabilities for the higher - the organism? And don't humans create new possibilities for lower holons by combining them in new ways, as in genetic engineering? Does it seem more appropriate to call these novel creations probabilities or new possibilities? (…)Tenet 9 - Destroy any type of holon, and you will destroy all of the holons above it and none of the holons below it. This is a very important tenet for Wilber because he sees it as a foolproof way of determining which holons are higher and which lower in the developmental hierarchy. (…) Wilber states that this rule works for any developmental sequence, for any holarchy....there are no exceptions. Andrew Smith has used some subtle argumentation to demonstrate that this rule undermines Wilber's entire attempt to rank holons when applied consistently. (…)Smith notes that this is only true for unorganized and undifferentiated populations. If we apply the destruction rule to complexly organized human societies we find that society, contrary to Wilber's claims, is developmentally more advanced than the individuals that compose it. (…)(…) But here is where Smith undermines Wilber's entire developmental model through consistent application of the destruction rule. If we are going to distinguish between types of human beings based on their developmental achievement - rational, mythic, magic, etc. - then we should be consistent and apply the same logic to all holons. Smith notes that cells are not all alike. The cells that are found in organisms are quite distinct from the cells that exist outside of organisms. Applying the destruction test now gives you a different result. Destroy all organisms and all cells of the kind found in organisms will all be destroyed and vice versa because these kinds of cells can only exist within organisms. According to the destruction test this means that cells within organisms and the organisms which transcend and include them are on the same developmental level; this contradicts Wilber's developmental sequence. The same reasoning can also be used for atoms and molecules. This is one reason that Smith concludes that the principle of asymmetry that Wilber uses to determine ranking in the hierarchy is rendered useless. Other applications of the destruction test contradict Wilber's contentions. (…)Tenet 10 - Holarchies coevolve. By this Wilber means that individual and social holons inseparably develop together. (…) Regarding the evidence for this tenet, Smith notes a very problematic aspect of the Jantsch/Wilber framework is that in attempting to demonstrate a coevolution of macro and micro, it glosses over much data that don't easily fit. (…) Tenet 11 - The micro is in relational exchange with the macro at all levels of its depth. (…) In contrast to this tenet Smith notes, there are other kinds of holons in the micro or biological pathway that are ignored by Jantsch and Wilber, and which also have no corresponding holon in the macro or stellar pathway. For example, small molecules like amino acids, and macromolecules like proteins are far more complex than very simple molecules like water and carbon dioxide, and can't possibly be lumped together with the latter. They have many emergent properties that the latter lack, and they did not exist on the primordial earth. They evolved considerably later. This means there are molecules on the micro level whose relational exchange is with the macro level of Gaia and not the planetary level as Wilber suggests, violating tenet 11. Smith goes on to question the degree and quantity of relationality between many macro and micro entities stating that it's misleading to suggest, for example, that superclusters, clusters, or galaxies are associated with particular subatomic holons. We can only say that stars are associated with some elements, and that planets are associated with (a very few, and very simple kinds of) molecules. Beyond these two points, a correlation is not evident. Tenet 12 states that evolution has directionality and is, perhaps, the most important and most problematic of all the tenets. (…) Surprisingly, Wilber also tries to show that Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault are on board regarding differentiation as an ever increasing evolutionary process. But the quotes he uses to prove his contention don't show that Derrida and Foucault have any belief in a directional evolutionary process. The spirit of Derrida's and Foucault's poststructuralism is captured better by David Hoy when he writes that Not only do Foucault and Derrida give up humanism's belief in epistemological progress, they also give up its belief in social-historical progress, which is the fifth and last, but probably most important feature of the critique of humanism. (…) The difficulties that biologists have with speaking unproblematically about the telos of biological life are shared by social theorists. While individuals have goals, and various social theorists speak of social systems as goal-directed, this doesn't make it so. To buttress a goal-directed view of society, Wilber conveniently refers to Hegel, Marx, Freud and Habermas, all of whom have teleological systems, while dismissing non-teleological theorists because, as he assumes we all agree, any decent theorist is an omega-point [teleological] theorist. Of course, this casual remark excludes indecent social theorists like Durkheim, Nietzsche, Weber, and Foucault whose theories aren't teleological. In addition, Wilber tries to pass Derrida off as a teleological theorist in order to get a poststructuralist imprimatur. He appears to quote Derrida in support of his position, but when we check the quote's citation, we find it is Harold Coward's gloss on Derrida and not Derrida himself who is being quoted. To see social systems as goal directed is a value-laden choice of social theorists, not a fact of social life. It is this moral component that makes it such a vexing question in both the biological and human sciences. (…) As this chapter shows, there are many anomalies and contradictions which show that the 20 tenets do not describe the 'laws' or 'patterns' or 'tendencies' or 'habits' that all known holons seem to have in common, as Wilber contends. (…) Wilber maps the evolutionary unfolding of matter, life, mind and spirit from the Big Bang to the present day and beyond. Since the four quadrants, holons and the 20 tenets are interrelated, Edwards,' Goddard's and Smith's criticisms of the latter two have implications for the former. The four quadrant map, as originally drawn in SES, depicted the four different aspects of each holon. Each holon had an individual, social, exterior and interior aspect. Yet Wilber routinely referred to individual and social holons, not individual and social aspects of holons. This may seem to be a minor linguistic shortcut, but Wilber's commentators have demonstrated in great detail how this semantic slip reveals what is crucially problematic about Wilber's four quadrant model, causing Andrew Smith to recently conclude that the four-quadrant model, in its original form, is dead. (…) Smith also points out an interesting contradiction in Wilber's four quadrant division. He notes that Wilber, like most holarchic thinkers, observes that the Kosmos unfolds from matter to life to mind to spirit. Mind emerges from life, yet on every level of Wilber's four quadrants mind and life are present together. Do we conceive of the rational mind as emerging from the brain and therefore a higher emergent development or do we see it as the individual interior aspect of the individual exterior brain, both on the same developmental level? This asymmetry between the exterior brain and the interior mind is also found among individual and social holons. The cells of the brain demonstrate a relatively high degree of interactive or social connection, more so than lower invertebrates which are on a higher developmental level than cells. According to Wilber's four quadrant model, the sophistication of social interactions should be greater for the lower invertebrates than for the relatively lowly cell, but it is not. The relationship between the mind and the brain is a contentious issue in a number of fields. Wilber has decided that they are two aspects of a third thing, the holon. But if his model is supposed to integrate as many other theories as it can, isn't it prejudiced against many other ways of understanding the mind/brain relationship? Since no consensus in cognitive science or the philosophy of mind has been reached regarding the status of consciousness, his map which takes a definitive stand on the mind/brain relationship cannot include the orienting generalizations or truths determined by these fields of study. (…) Wilber too wants to integrate the subjective and objective sides of reality, but he also wants to preserve the domain of subjectivity by what he contends are inappropriate encroachments by the natural sciences. To integrate these new types of inquiry he would have to redraw his four quadrant map. (…) Generally, Wilber writes as if the four aspects of all holons is an ontological division of the Kosmos, but he also argues that the division between the four quadrants is an historical, and so changing, achievement. Seeing it as an historical achievement he could allow the ontological, methodological and epistemological integrations and mergers that I describe; but if he did this he would have to call into question the very divisions upon which his four quadrant model is based. (…) Wilber presents his model as if the consensus of scientific opinion supports it, but this is not the case. By tracking down his sources, revealing in them what Wilber does not mention, and exploring more fully the disciplines he uses, I will show that Wilber's version of individual development is not a valid generalization of scientific findings. (…) To validate his model Wilber exaggerates the level of agreement in the scientific community regarding the claims he makes. He speaks of using orienting generalizations or the already-agreed-upon knowledge in the sciences. He makes statements like the evidence is virtually unanimous and summarizing the existing research and gives the reader the impression that he has culled the simple but sturdy knowledge of psychology. But in going back to his sources and investigating others, I have found a great deal of ongoing disagreement about Wilber's already-agreed-upon knowledge. (…)Wilber does cite legitimate sources to validate his belief in Kohlberg's model, but he neglects to inform his readers of other sources that validate the opposite view, leaving the reader with the impression that his view is the consensus in the field. It is not only alternate sources that can be cited to contradict Wilber's assertion of scholarly consensus, his own sources when examined closely yield a different picture than the one he presents. Wilber now calls the basic levels of development waves and the lines of development streams, following the usage of Howard Gardner et al in their 1990 article. He cites and quotes this article several times as evidence for his claims about the universality of the basic levels. And the parts of the article Wilber cites do support his contentions, but the quotes are carefully selected and a return to Gardner et al's article reveals evidence that runs counter to Wilber's model. (…)The impression Wilber gives when he uses developmental psychology research is that this is the truth of individual growth as confirmed by psychological science. (…)In Wilber's model the basic levels are the only aspect of consciousness that develops holarchically. This means that, unlike the transitional structures of consciousness, the basic levels all remain active and integrated within the currently dominant level of consciousness. Gardner et al's model is described as non-hierarchical by the editors of the collection in which it appeared. (…)Other sources which Wilber uses to validate his contentions become problematic when examined. In a recent restatement of his psychological model he defends the idea that there are universal levels of consciousness by quoting John Berry et al who authored the book Cross-cultural Psychology. Wilber introduces the quote with the phrase summarizing the existing research and then quotes Berry et al agreeing with his view that cultural differences in development are under-girded by universal or basic structures of consciousness. It appears to be a strong confirmation of Wilber's view. But, (…) They distinguish this approach, which they label universalist, from two others current in cross-cultural studies called the relativist and the absolutist. (…) What Wilber cites as a summary of the existing research is actually one perspective within an ongoing debate. (…)These perspectives, from well-known developmental psychologists, undermine the impression Wilber creates that the developmental unfolding that psychology describes is a universal truth about humans. (…)Wilber contends that vision-logic incorporates the poststructural insight of contexts within contexts, yet he leaves out the crucial poststructural contextualization: the contextualization of oneself, the observer. Wilber reacts with such vehemence when confronting the relativists, and takes such repeated delight in exposing their alleged self-contradiction – they supposedly make the absolute statement that all is relative – because their alleged contradiction is his actual contradiction. His contradiction is that, on the one hand, he wants to claim that he is practicing a non-reductionistic, aperspectival synthesis of the partial truths of knowledge while, on the other hand, he is actually using an unacknowledged perspective and criterion of truth in order to decide what will count as truth. He uses the fiction of the orienting generalization, and its purported sanction of what he considers the facts, to promote as universal his highly partisan and selective vision of what is true for all. (…)Ironically, Wilber, who has personally had such a profound non-dual insight, is so locked into the paramount epistemological duality of absolutism vs. relativism that he cannot see beyond it. It causes him to say things like, That all perspectives interrelate, or that no perspective is final (aperspectivism), does not mean that there are no relative merits among them. Yet how does he determine relative merits except through his perspective, which he unwittingly disguises by thinking of it as a transcendent aperspective? Finally, that Wilber's aperspective is a perspective is apparent from what follows his description of vision-logic: a defense of his view against the inevitable (but comfortably simplified) objections, i.e. other perspectives. This attempt to validate the superiority of vision-logic through the results of the integral theory leads to a circular logic. (…) The superiority of vision-logic as a mode of knowing is dependent upon the arguments made for the validity of the integral synthesis as a whole. Wilber argues that vision-logic is superior because: it transcends and includes rationality; it is developmentally later and so is more advanced; and it explains more since it integrates all that has come before. In each instance, vision-logic's superiority is dependent upon the validity of the integral theory. When Wilber states that vision-logic sees that consciousness is actually holonic so that its own operation [is] increasingly transparent to itself, he assumes that the holonic way of looking at consciousness is correct. Yet that is the burden of Wilber's work, which I show is highly problematic. (…) This attempt to validate the superiority of vision-logic through the results of the integral theory leads to a circular logic. Wilber's ability to create his integral synthesis is supposedly a result of his use of vision-logic. Vision-logic is that state of mind that allows the weaving together of the partial truths of the other sciences in order to create a synthesis of knowledge that the rational consciousness cannot accomplish. Yet the validity of vision-logic, as we have seen, is justified by the correctness of the entire integral synthesis, which, through its evolutionary-developmental perspective, makes sense of the welter of scientific knowledge currently available and gives vision-logic a favored place. (…) It's like saying, I know I'm right because I have the best faculty for judging rightness. How do I know it's the best faculty for judging rightness? Because it judges things rightly. How do I know it judges things rightly? Because it is the best faculty for judging rightness, ad infinitum. (…) (Wilber) claims that his description of consciousness is the knowledge of everyone else's combined. (…) This device makes it appear as if he is neutrally reporting the findings of all the members of the debate and causes him to make grandiose claims, such as consciousness finally becomes transparent to itself through vision-logic. (…) Wilber's unreliable reporting of the results of scholarly research is one central feature of my critique and this same problem arises, although less severely than usual, when he justifies vision-logic by citing scholarly research. (…)Wilber believes he's at the highest or crossparadigmatic level: I am presenting a cross-paradigmatic model. (…) Wilber makes an invidious comparison between the methods of knowledge acquisition in medieval times versus that of modernity. (…)If the shift to vision-logic is of the same order of magnitude as the shift from the medieval to the modern, then vision-logic must have its own new criteria of valid knowledge. Wilber does describe the three strands of any valid knowledge claim, but that is not a new criterion of knowledge. (...) So no new criterion of knowledge is offered that would distinguish vision-logic from the standard rules of rational argumentation and establish it as a new stage of social-historical development. (…)Wilber has claimed that you need to have attained a certain level of consciousness to really understand his theory. He writes that nothing that can be said in this book will convince you that a [theory of everything] is possible, unless you already have a touch of turquoise [higher consciousness] coloring your cognitive palette.] (…) This argument is problematic in a number of ways and has the potential, already partially realized in the Wilberian integral community, of stifling the free flow of ideas and causing exclusionary behavior. As stated above, Wilber's description of the problem is odd. He says he's talking about philosophical debates, yet refers to orange aggressiveness, green bonding and green hostility as if the discussants aren't asserting their views using rational arguments and rhetoric, but instead bullying or hugging each other. Presumably, I would be labeled a green hostile. But I'm not trying to dislodge Wilber's turquoise holarchy with hostility; I'm making arguments, asking questions and producing evidence. (…) I wonder if Wilber had a mental lapse when writing it since Wilber also contends, in that very same piece, that the developmental models he uses have the sanction of mainstream academia. (…) This directly contradicts Wilber's frequent statements that the developmental models he's using are validated by the consensus in the field. (…) Wilber's argument here is so weak that another explanation has to be found for why he's asserting it. It's obvious to me that this is a transparent, and somewhat sad, attempt to avoid criticism by devising a rationale that invalidates the criticizer. If, as he often laments, people don't understand his theory, the explanation lies in their not being cognitively developed enough to understand it. (…) And, any criticism the critic makes can be ignored because of the lower level of consciousness of the person making it. Wilber is committing the common fallacy of the ad hominem argument – the argument against the man. (…)Without the proper validation, the use of levels of development as a tool to exclude particular debate participants or to rationalize inferior argumentation can be seen as a transparent attempt to avoid rational discussion, the standard way of adjudicating differences between differing intellectual perspectives. (…) Wilber wants to be the one who provides the neutral framework for all other knowledge, wants there to be a way to know reality as it is, and wants to claim that he knows the transcendent goal of all evolution. The schism goes unacknowledged but pokes through Wilber's confident discourse. (…) Here again we find Wilber's usual treatment of critics: caricaturing their positions and not quoting anyone in order to avoid the difficult problems that true critics would raise. (…) Wilber also neglects to mention dissenting views of Habermas's own colleagues. William Outhwaite notes the failure of [Habermas's] Starnberg colleagues…to get anything useful out of a Piagetian analysis of law which would be an important part of a theory that asserts the parallel development of individuals and societies. Wilber quotes approvingly Habermas's description of the movement from tribal-magical organizations to mythic organizations and notes his collaboration with Klaus Eder. But at the time of Wilber's writing, Klaus Eder, whose work Habermas relies upon, had already abandoned Habermas's assertion of an automatic link between learning processes and social evolution in order to focus on the empirical reality of historical individuals and groups. There is ample evidence of the highly debatable character of Habermas's work, but showing that Wilber does not use the orienting generalizations of academia is not the same, however, as showing how what Wilber says is wrong. I will therefore examine the validity of his conception of social development. Wilber's characterization of the magic, mythic and rational stages often veers into caricature. This is because he makes facts fit a particular theoretical mold to preserve his theory. The theoretical mold requires that each later stage be progressively better than all previous stages. For example, when describing the morality and cognition of mythic society he emphasizes the most intolerant and aggressive aspect of it. He then contrasts this with the egoic-rational stage's world-centric morality of toleration. (…) Wilber's history-telling, while not deterministic, is strongly affirmative. The West's egoic-rational culture is, despite its faults, the morally highest development of human culture. It is a transcendence and inclusion of the essential social structures of the past. In Wilber's history you do not get the impression that anything essential was lost. It is a very un-tragic view of history and reflects Wilber's aversion to negativity and loss in general. (…) By extracting some concepts which can be associated with a poststructural perspective and incorporating them into his integral synthesis, Wilber avoids the fundamental challenges that poststructuralism poses to his system and to knowledge acquisition in general. Wilber's depiction of postmodernism is more varied than his picture of poststructuralism, but it too is limited. He sketches a view of postmodernism as dominating academia and culture which I show is not the case. (…)The idea of history as genealogy (in Foucault) undermines the positive evolution and developmentalism that Wilber promotes. (…)Wilber sidesteps this critique and reduces it to the idea that poststructuralism essentially agrees with his holarchic view because a close look at their work shows that it is driven precisely by a conception of holons within holons, of texts within texts within texts (or contexts within contexts within contexts), and it is the sliding play of texts within texts that forms the 'foundationless' platform from which they launch their attacks. Wilber's contexts within contexts refrain undermines the radicality of the poststructural critique. Poststructuralists aren't just showing that there are always contexts within contexts. Poststructuralism is a multifaceted critique which throws the essentials of Wilber's entire system into question. His system exemplifies the intellectual excesses that poststructuralism arose to attack: the centrality of Man; the simplistic historical story-telling; the unproblematic use of language as transparent conveyor of truth; the purported creation of an inclusive system of integrated partial truths which denies profound differences; his unexplained role as teller of the Kosmos's story; the essentializing of the subjective realm in the face of the decentering of the subject in structuralism and deconstruction. All of this cuts to the heart of Wilber's project, but when he periodically mentions poststructuralism he repeats a contexts within contexts mantra and counters any relativistic difficulty by saying these sliding contexts slide in regular patterns. Wilber extracts one piece of the poststructural critique – the contextualized nature of knowing – and reinterprets it in such a way that he can use it as an authoritative source to confirm an aspect of his system. This gives the impression that he is integrating another partial truth into his inclusive synthesis. He thereby avoids the most difficult philosophical questions in contemporary thought. (…)Wilber tries strenuously to defeat the constructivists. In so doing he twists himself into such an intellectual tangle that it is hard to disentangle his thinking. (…)Wilber claims that even Derrida, the intellectual father of constructivism, admits there are transcendental signifieds. This is surprising because it runs counter to Derrida's famous statement: there is nothing outside the text – no signifieds that escape the play of signifiers. Wilber's even able to find a quote where he thinks Derrida affirms the existence of the transcendental signified. However, in the quote and its context Derrida is clearly arguing for the opposite of what Wilber says he is. (…)Derrida appears to be arguing for the necessity of a transcendental signified, but when the relevant page in the book by Derrida from which Wilber quotes him is consulted we find that the ‘it’ which Wilber says refers to the transcendental signified actually refers to ‘this opposition or difference’ between ‘the signifier and the signified.’ (…) Wilber's transformation of Derrida into an intellectual ally against the evidence of the very quotes he is using to make his case shakes one's confidence in Wilber as a scholarly reporter. (…) Wilber resorts to these kinds of silly statements because he senses that he really can't defeat his opponents with superior arguments. He hides, from the reader and himself, behind a discourse of confident triumphalism as the deep problems poststructuralism poses for his thinking are denied. (…) Wilber's use of Nagarjuna offers an important illustration of a number of the problems with advances in poststructuralism that I have just explained. (…) Wilber, who says he has an experiential insight into the non-dual or empty nature of reality, is at great pains not to reify that insight and to convey how it is unutterably unlike what words can express. He, like Murti, wants to fully appreciate the ineffability of the Absolute, but still wants there to be some sort of transcendental something that can act as a referent or Ultimate. But influenced by Murti, and with his own need to have the mystic's transpersonal experiences thought an advance over the personal experience of the modern consciousness, he still preserves the non-dual as a something that provides a foundation and a telos for his intellectual project. This use of Murti ignores the large Nagarjuna scholarship of the last 55 years and misleads the reader by making it seem as if the weight of academic scholarship supports Wilber's position. But when we consult that recent scholarship we find subtle interpretations of Nagarjuna's philosophy deeply influenced by the very poststructural thinking that Wilber criticizes and, supposedly, integrates. (…)[Regarding POSTMODERNISM] Wilber takes for granted that our current social world is postmodern, but, unlike those who try to describe and explain this world, he tends to think of postmodernism as naming a world-view or, more specifically, a belief about the nature of knowledge. For him the ism on the end of the word postmodernism suggests a belief-system like the words Marxism or Judaism. (…)There are a number of problems with this critique of postmodernism. Wilber accuses extreme postmodern thinkers of denying reality to the objective world and for asserting that no view is better than any other, contradictorily assuming that their view is better then all others; yet he never quotes any postmodern thinker asserting these extreme views. (…) Wilber needs (…) extreme postmodernists [like Stanley Fish] to exist in order to have a societal pathology which his synthesis can remedy, but because no established thinkers actually hold these views he cannot quote anyone asserting them. (…) In addition to his caricature of imaginary extreme postmodernists, Wilber also exaggerates the extent that extreme postmodernism has taken over the university and culture in general. He adopts wholesale the picture of the university and culture concocted by cultural conservatives for political purposes in the late 80's and early 90's. (…) Wilber has adopted a convenient conservative fiction regarding the university instead of doing the important sociological work of uncovering what is really going on beyond the fashionable cultural politics and sensationalized news stories. (…) Wilber's periodization of modernity and postmodernity is confusing. (…) This confusion of modern and postmodern thought is mirrored in Wilber's description of modern and postmodern social changes. He contends that the strength of postmodernism is pluralism, multiculturalism, and the respecting of all voices. (…) The strengths that Wilber assigns to postmodernism could easily be seen as the strengths of modernism. By misattributing qualities to postmodernism that could just as easily be seen as aspects of modernism, Wilber avoids the stronger and more undermining aspects of postmodern thought. He says that vision-logic, like postmodern thinking, privileges no perspective and weaves them together into an integral-aperspective. Yet Wilber's integral synthesis privileges key ideas that postmodern thought criticizes: evolution, progress, a telos, anthropocentrism, a non-dual essence, the division between inner and outer, realism and a vocabulary that is binding on other times, persons and places. He never adequately confronts the fundamental problems that poststructuralism and postmodernism raise for his theory of everything. (…)The appeal to authority is not the only problem with Wilber's scholarly method... the greater problem is with his usual method of argumentation. (…)Wilber makes statements of fact and validates them by attributing them to a few great thinkers. The assumption is that if a great and influential thinker asserts something, then it should carry authority. For example, Wilber uses Ferdinand de Saussure's distinction between the signifier and the signified without any mention of Derrida's critique of the distinction, nor other approaches to the sign which followed Saussure's. The assumption appears to be that if a great thinker like Saussure says it, that's validation enough. In another example, he spends an entire page convincing us of the precocity, brilliance and great influence of the German philosopher Friedrich Schelling, as if these traits have some bearing on whether what he said was true or false. The same is done with Jurgen Habermas, A. O. Lovejoy and Charles Taylor. It's a curious pre-Enlightenment way of validating statements by reference to authority and is contrary to Wilber's post-Enlightenment desire to rely on science as the arbiter of truth. (…) The appeal to authority is not the only problem with Wilber's scholarly method. While he's been criticized by others for many missed ellipses and rearranged and unattributed quotes, the greater problem is with his usual method of argumentation. (…) What he typically does in SES is: refer to some general group of authors such as the ecophilosophers or the multiculturists, caricature some part of their views he doesn't like, and then repeatedly prove that they are wrong about the caricatured point. (…) Most of the time, after pages of debate, the reader never learns the names of Wilber's opponents, the books they've written, nor reads their own words. If Wilber does not use orienting generalizations then how does he determine what will go into his synthesis and what will not? He must use the ongoing academic debates in diverse fields of knowledge to determine what is true. But it is the participants within those debates who are trying to determine what is true by debating. By not knowing the details of the contemporary intellectual debates on which his synthesis depends, he tramples on the very debates that determine the truths he needs to construct his integration. His actual practice is to reach into a debate, pull out the work of an author he can use, and then neglect the thicket of ongoing arguments and counter-arguments in which the truths he needs to build his system are being thrashed out. Instead of an integration of the already-agreed-upon knowledge in each field of study, he ends up taking one side of an ongoing debate and so builds his synthesis with debatable and debated knowledge. The result is that Wilber's method of inclusion is actually a practice of exclusion; an exclusion of all the perspectives and facts which do not fit into his synthesis. (…)Each perspective is a different world-view that constructs the world in different ways. Wilber neglects these differing perspectives by assuming there is one world - which happens to be the one he sees - and that they are all describing different aspects of it. (…)Wilber thinks he is creating an integration that extracts what is true from differing perspectives, but he is actually disrespecting the profound differences in radically divergent constructions of reality and avoiding the great intellectual problem of our time: difference. (…)The method of orienting generalizations is Wilber's way of gaining valid knowledge in order to counter what he sees as a rampant relativism. He also confronts relativism directly in several different contexts, but his argument against it is quite weak. This is due, in part, to his crude formulation of the relativist position. (…)The problem is, as Rorty says, that such neat little dialectical strategies only work against lightly-sketched fictional characters. I referred to this weakness of argumentation as a problem, but it is only a problem for those serious about argumentation. For Wilber it is not problematic, but functional. By deploying his self-contradiction argument he can avoid the real difficulties that serious scholars present for his position. (…)I think that Wilber unconsciously understands that he has not subdued the relativist menace. (…) The dominant criterion of validity for Wilber is the degree of agreement among the experts. (…) [Wilber’s] arguments, though, are contradictory and take no account of the extensive history of philosophical debate which addresses these questions and has come to no satisfactory resolution. (…)My examination of the major areas of knowledge Wilber employs shows that the sciences do not agree as Wilber contends: that there is disagreement where he suggests there is agreement; that there are facts and alternative interpretations which do not fit his map; that if he insists on trying to validate a mystically infused, but rationally argued vision of the Kosmos, he will be subject to the criteria used in rational argumentation and that his vision's validity will be undermined; and that his effort to reconcile all perspectives into one big map of the Kosmos will be dashed upon the ultimately irreconcilable, irreducible difference of perspectives. (…) While he wants his thinking to validate and promote an essentially spiritual insight, all of Wilber's work takes place in the realm of thought. The writings are ideas written in language and argued with reasons. He argues for a spiritual insight that grasps the essence of existence, yet the arguments and the whole of his system is a thought which owes its existence to the realm of thinking. (…)Without the printed page, the spoken word, the thoughts that create them and the language that allows them all to exist, there is no integral synthesis, no understanding at all. In Wilber's work it is mind that grasps the Kosmos not spirit. (…) The values underlying Wilber's system are often assumed rather than argued. (…) Oddly, for all Wilber's emphasis on higher consciousness, fact/value connectedness, and the qualitative uniqueness of subjectivity, his criteria of better and worse is quantitative: more is better. The more emergent properties a holon embraces the more complex it is. The more complex a holon is, the higher or better it is in Wilber's holarchy. (…)This assumption does not say anything about the Kosmos, but it does tell us about Wilber's bias. By valuing in this way, human beings are judged to be the most advanced entities in the Kosmos. Wilber's criterion allows him to mold, out of the vast multiplicity of evolutionarily created entities, a vision in which it appears that the whole Kosmos is geared towards producing us humans. (…) In addition to his species bias, Wilber's criteria of valuation also imply a positive valuation of his project and of himself. (…)As described in his journals, he has tasted, and mostly resides in, the highest, most inclusive state of consciousness. So by his own standard of inclusiveness, his intellectual work and his level of consciousness are the greatest to do and to be. (…)The research in this book demonstrates that Wilber does not use the orienting generalizations of the sciences as he claims. As a replacement method he quotes some great names of science. Because he does not have the authority of the orienting generalizations, Wilber tends to caricature perspectives different from his own and thereby not confront the problems they would pose were they strongly formulated. He creates his synthesis by weaving together the ideas that he finds congenial to his outlook and fits them together to make his synthesis. This is problematic because his synthesis is supposed to be a transcendence of all less inclusive correct views, yet actually excludes those that do not fit his particular integration. (…)On an even more fundamental philosophical level, Wilber assumes that all true statements should fit together. (…)Wilber tries to incorporate the true part of relativism by offering a relatively absolute knowledge as a synthesis. The idea of relatively absolute knowledge is found to be contradictory and his criticism of what he takes to be the implications of relativism is shown to be weak. (…) Wilber offers no new criteria. That a person has a more advanced consciousness does not mean their understanding of the world is superior. (…)Wilber champions a false consensus in the sciences. In contrast, I show the profound differences in perspective in many areas of study such as cultural psychology, poststructuralism, mysticism and sociology that are excluded or tendentiously interpreted in order to create a false inclusiveness that masks the radically perspectival nature of knowing. (…) I have shown the many fundamental flaws in Wilber's theory of the Kosmos. If Wilber's theory is fundamentally problematic, this suggests that it is not the facts of the Kosmos that determine the character of his theory. (…) In essential ways the Kosmos's story is Wilber's story. His life and tasks become the Kosmos's nature and purpose. (…) Similarly, the pattern in which problems develop and solutions are found repeats. (…)Wilber's task has been to integrate contradictory, but true, knowledge claims. (…) We see this core issue of duality or separation and the need to integrate played out in many different ways. A central theme in his personal life, his intellectual project and his diagnosis of society is the split between science and spirit. Both personally and intellectually he needs to validate spirit to science. In Wilber's journals, One Taste, one of the rare negative exchanges occurs when Wilber, in his zeal to prove that higher spiritual states are scientifically verifiable, shows his guests a videotape of himself hooked up to an EEG machine which records his brain wave activity as he passes through higher and higher spiritual states. Wilber writes that his good friend Sam Bercholz says I make a total ass out of myself by showing this, since it seems so self-serving (…).He gets to impress people with his spiritual attainment and use that attainment to convince a scientific type of the validity of spiritual states. (…) This split between science and spirit and the need to prove spirit to science we see in Wilber's intellectual project. Over his 30 year career he has tried to validate spirituality to science. The convincingness of his integral synthesis depends not on spiritual insight, but on scientific evidence and rational argumentation. (…) His whole Kosmic synthesis in SES can be understood as an attempt to gain scientific legitimacy for spirituality and for himself. His personal task to reconcile his scientific and spiritual selves becomes his intellectual task. This need is evidenced in a small, but telling comment he makes to his wife in Grace & Grit. His late wife quotes his reaction to someone's comment that he is considered the leading theorist in transpersonal studies. This could be received by Wilber in many ways: he could brim with pride, be modest, etc. He responds by saying that being called the foremost theorist in transpersonal studies is like being called the tallest building in Kansas City. (…) On the surface this comment shows Wilber's good-natured humor and his realism in assessing the marginal status of Transpersonal Psychology. But beneath the surface is the suggestion that being the leading transpersonal theorist is not worth much in comparison to being the leading theorist in some well-regarded academic field. (…)His mammoth theory of everything, documented with nearly 240 pages of endnotes and attempting to integrate all the sciences can be read as his attempt to be the tallest building in the largest of academic cities. (…)An example which brings together the issues of early loss of spirit, insecurity relative to the academic establishment, the need to prove to and conquer that establishment and the great attachment to themes of development and maturity can be found on the very first page of SES. On the surface it appears that Wilber is simply contrasting his work with prevailing attitudes in academia and intellectual culture. But the psychologically suggestive metaphor he chooses to depict the contrast, and his assertive, irritated and defensive tone, indicate the deeper issues that are at play for him. (…) He derogatorily names his opponents' position the philosophy of oops because they think that ultimately everything just happens by accident: oops. The way Wilber expresses this straightforward point is quite revealing. The central metaphor revolves around the issue of development or who is mature and who immature. (…) So it is they who are immature and infantile and it is he, in his metaphysical questioning, who is mature and adult. (…)While Wilber wants his history of the Kosmos to be as inclusive, aperspectival and universal as possible its narrative form betrays its bias. (…) Mistakenly maintaining that one has a valid theory of everything is a sign of personal grandiosity. The great danger for the grandiose person is deflation by the intrusion of the real. For the theory and psyche that are inflated to the breaking point like a balloon every criticism looks like a sharp pin. This ever-present danger of deflation results in a shadow insecurity. The job of the grandiose psyche is to keep from awareness those aspects of reality which could threaten the grandiose vision. Consequently, maintaining a positive, progressive, Kosmic system which redeems all loss is difficult; it requires a lot of mental contortions in order to avoid seeing its flaws. (…)But as we know from psychology, repetition compulsions never satisfy because they do not get to the root of the problem. The root of the problem for Wilber is that he is doubtful about the validity of his own points because somewhere inside he knows that he is arguing against a caricature of his opponent's position and will never gain the victory he craves. (…)Another technique of avoiding threatening counter arguments is the caricaturing of opponents' positions. (…) Sometimes Wilber's insecurity drives him beyond repetitiveness and caricature to the sarcasm and snideness for which he has been criticized. This rudeness has become a topic of debate. Some think it inappropriate. (…)Wilber's favorites like Plato, Plotinus, Schelling and Habermas, are positive philosophers who build intellectual systems. What Wilber hates are negative thinkers whose basic approach is critical such as Stanley Fish, Georges Bataille and Steven Katz. These thinkers undo systems and dismantle foundations. He has a strong aversion to thinkers who are essentially critical. He equates this with nihilism and it corresponds to those who believe in the philosophy of ‘oops' which is that the universe just occurs, there is nothing behind it, it's all ultimately accidental or random, it just is, it just happens - oops! Later in the book Wilber angrily denounces ‘tenured radicals,' who want to deconstruct all forms of accepted knowledge and who only have the wits, as it were, to tear down but not create: deconstruction exhausts the limits of their talent. (…) Derrida and Foucault are considered negative thinkers, but Wilber generally treats them favorably. An apparent anomaly, but easily explained. They have achieved such a level of fame and their work is so influential that a person such as Wilber, who wants to claim inclusiveness, must incorporate them into his synthesis. He does this by extracting something from them that agrees with his view, thereby misrepresenting them in the process. (…)In SES, fear causes the degeneration into sarcasm and snideness which results from the threat posed by others to the fragile coherence of his grand integration. (…) Another example comes from a recent interview in which Wilber talks about green memes. This is a social category describing people who have achieved the highest level of social and personal development below a transpersonal breakthrough. The green memes are sensitive selves who mistrust cold reason and emphasize feeling. They are against hierarchies of all kinds and exalt a pluralistic relativism. They are responsible for political correctness and conduct codes, and champion egalitarian and multicultural politics. These are the people most angered by Wilber's nasty endnotes in SES, yet they are the group most ready to be shepherded into the transpersonal stage. In a number of interviews Wilber's ambivalent attitude towards them is evident in his movement from superior mocking of this less advanced group to respectful enumeration of their positive qualities. (…) He has not worked through and embraced his own psychological issues and so acts them out in his thinking, writing and behavior. His aversion to loss (Phobos) is transformed into a positive, constructive system-building and is a reaction against negative or critical thinkers rather than an allowing embrace. (…) Wilber's personal Eastern mystical practices had the express intention of ‘decentering’ the Ego, or overthrow the Ego, but, in the search for a theory of everything ended up - inadvertently, paradoxically - championing modes of knowing and feeling that were supremely egocentric and flagrantly narcissistic and so we witness the outrageous return and exaltation of that which it [his mystical practices] expressly set out to overcome: a glorification of divine egoism. (…) Ken Wilber's personal experiences of division and loss are compensated for by grandiosity represented in his overwhelmingly positive and massive theory of everything. (…) Wilber's synthesis is creative and his life philosophy attractive, but there are too many anomalies for it to be considered a valid theory.”
 K. Wilber, Speaking of Everything
 K. Wilber, Grace and Grit: Spirituality & Healing in the Life & Death of Treya Killam Wilber
 K. Wilber, On the Nature of a Post-Metaphysical Spirituality: Response to Habermas and Weis
 Matthew Dallman, ON KEN WILBER: Hopelessly New Age, Hopeless for the Humanities
 Jos Groot, Is Ken Wilber a Guru?
 David Sunfellow, Ken Wilber Describes His Savant-Like Abilities
 Martin Erdmann, Poor Wilberites who are never allowed to live in the here and now.
 MARTIN ERDMANN, KEN WILBER'S BLIND SPOT: A Giant deluded in his Seeing, Dazed by The Simple Feeling of Being
 V. Gunnar Larsson, Spiritual Narcissism
 Scott F. Parker, Ken Wilber and Intellectual Humility: Narcissism, Insularity and Tragedy
 Robert Sandberg, Ken Wilber – The Asimov of Consciousness.
 Michel Bauwens, The cult of Ken Wilber.
 Michel Bauwens, Ken Wilber is losing it.
 Michel Bauwens, On the logic of cultism at the Integral Institute.
 F. Visser, THE TROUBLE WITH KEN WILBER: A Plea For a Change of Discourse
 CONRAD GOEHAUSEN, THE INTEGRAL MOVEMENT IS A LOT LIKE HOLLYWOOD.
 BRIAN HINES, INTEGRAL EGOS GONE WILD: Wilber and Cohen Relish Worship
 Elliot Benjamin, ON KEN WILBER'S INTEGRAL INSTITUTE: AN EXPERIENTIAL ANALYSIS.
 Conrad Goehausen ,Reply to Wilber on Metaphysics of Evolution.
 Jim Chamberlain, "SORRY, IT'S JUST OVER YOUR HEAD" Wilber's response to recent criticism
 Geoffrey D. Falk, BALD NARCISSISM
 JORGE N. FERRER, REFLECTIONS ON KEN WILBER FROM A PARTICIPATORY PERSPECTIVE
 JOHN HERON, WAY OUT FURTHER.
 Frank Visser, WILBER OR TRUTH? How to Get Rid of Your Wilber Complex
 G.D. Falk, Norman Einstein The Disintegration Of Ken Wilber
 Scott Parker, Winning the Integral Game?
 Ken Wilber, A Sociable God: Toward a New
Understanding of Religion
 Geoffrey Falk, Stripping the Gurus: Sex, Violence, Abuse and Enlightenment
 DAVID LANE, INTEGRAL APARTHEID: Ken Wilber's Cousins, Color-Coding, and the Nazi Problem
 Michael Winkelman, THE EVOLUTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS? Transpersonal Theories in Light of Cultural Relativism
 Frank Visser, WILBER OR TRUTH? How to Get Rid of Your Wilber Complex
 JOE CORBETT, How Ken Wilber and Integral Theory Leave Out Justice
 Eric Towle, THE ARROGANCE OF THE IMPERIAL INTEGRAL MIND
 Ken Wilber, The Journals of Ken Wilber
 F. Visser, A Self-help guide for democrats: review of Ken Wilber`s “Trump and Post-Truth world”.
 F. Visser, A Self-help guide for democrats: review of Ken Wilber`s “Trump and Post-Truth world”.
 Michel Bauwens, The cult of Ken Wilber.
 JEFF MEYERHOFF, BALD AMBITION: A Critique of Ken Wilber's Theory of Everything
 MICHAEL WINKELMAN, THE EVOLUTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS: An Essay Review of Up from Eden (Wilber, 1981)
 WHIT HIBBARD, A CRITICAL APPRECIATION OF KEN WILBER'S CRITIQUE OF ECO-HOLISM
 Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, Race and Racism: An Introduction
 Kasomo Daniel, Historical Manifestation of Ethnocentrism and its Challenges Today
 UN News Centre, ‘Racial superiority’ myth must be debunked, experts tell UN event on challenges faced by people of African descent
 JEFF MEYERHOFF, BALD AMBITION: A Critique of Ken Wilber's Theory of Everything
 Clive Hamilton, Ken Wilber a Climate Denier? Say it ain´t so.
 Frank Visser, KEN WILBER'S “CREATIVISM” - God and the New Biology.
 Ken Wilber, The religion of Tomorrow
 David Lane, KEN WILBER AND “MORONIC” EVOLUTION: The Religion of Tomorrow and the misunderstanding of Emergence
 Conrad Goehausen ,Reply to Wilber on Metaphysics of Evolution.
 Frank Visser, Wilber and Laszlo: Two authors of evolutionary fiction.
 David Christopher Lane, Critique of Ken Wilber
 Ken Wilber, The Religion of Tomorrow
 IS DARWIN REALLY ‘ON OUR SIDE’? Ken Wilber's Misreading of Neo-Darwinism.
 F. Visser, From Atom to Atman – Ken Wilber`s Religious View of Evolution.
 T. Markus, Pitfalls of Wilberian Ecology – A critical review of Integral Ecology.
 David Lane, Frisky Dirt: Why Ken Wilber´s New Creationim is Pseudo-Science.
 Frank Visser, THE INVOLUTION/EVOLUTION COSMOLOGY: Ken Wilber Holds on to an Outdated Scheme of Existence
 David Lane, THE MISSING NUANCE
 Frank Visser, WILBER OR TRUTH? How to Get Rid of Your Wilber Complex
 Ken Wilber, A Brief History of Everything
 David Christopher Lane and Andrea Diem-Lane, Cosmic Creationism: Ken Wilber’s Evolutionary Theory
 Tom Floyd, Evolution Revisited: A Dialogue
 G.D. Falk, Norman Einstein The Disintegration Of Ken Wilber
 Ken Wilber, The Religion of Tomorrow
 Rudolf Steiner (1959), Cosmic Memory: Prehistory of Earth and Man (West Nyack, NY: Rudolf Steiner Publications, Inc.).
 Rudolf Steiner (1963), Atlantis and Lemuria (Mokelumne, CA: Health Research).
 Peter Washington, Madame Blavatsky’s Baboon: A History of the Mystics, Mediums, and Misfits Who Brought Spiritualism to America
 Geoffrey D. Falk, Stripping the Gurus: Sex, Violence, Abuse and Enlightenment
 Rudolf Steiner (1947), Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment (Hudson, NY: Anthroposophic Press).
 Peter Washington (1995 ), Madame Blavatsky’s Baboon: A History of the Mystics, Mediums, and Misfits Who Brought Spiritualism to America
 James Webb (1976), The Occult Establishment (La Salle, IL: Open Court).
 Anthony Storr (1996), Feet of Clay: Saints, Sinners, and Madmen: A Study of Gurus (New York: The Free Press).
 V. Walter Odajnyk, Gathering the Light.
 Christopher Cowan, What Do You Think About Writer Ken Wilber’s Representation of SD and Graves?
 Christopher Cowan, Boomeritis or Bust
 G.D. Falk, Norman Einstein The Disintegration Of Ken Wilber
 Gregory Desilet, Misunderstanding Derrida and Postmodernism: Ken Wilber and ‘Post-Metaphysics’ Integral Spirituality
 Marc Manson, The rise and fall of Ken Wilber.
 JEFF MEYERHOFF, BALD AMBITION: A Critique of Ken Wilber's Theory of Everything