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The teachings of Ken Wilber Login/Join 
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Asher,

I have not yet read the Aurobindo understanding that you mentioned, but he is rather exhaustive and inclusive of Kant, etc.

Wilber says that the green meme will double. If he is right, then French labor protests, New York City
Transit workers, the 20 million remaining members of
the Chinese Communist Party, anti-globalization activists,
radical Muslims, North Koreans, and seven or eight
unco-operative South American governments are all buying some time for this to happen, even though they may all despise and oppose each other.

Thomas Jefferson may yet have his dream and avoid his nightmare. I'm concerned about it, but if I develop into yellow in time, perhaps they will not round me up in the first wave of purges. Wink

Yes, I am reactionary. I see the writing on the wall here. One of the architects and technocrats who ran the Vietnam war for America, Robert McNamara, became president of the World Bank.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_McNamara

One of the architects and technocrats of the latest war has succeeded McNamara as head of the World Bank.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Wolfowitz

I'm beginning to see a pattern here. Admired by Wolfowitz:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suharto

It's scary stuff. I have lived almost 45 years without knowing how scary it really is. I have had to reel in horror and go cry in the bathtub. Why I choose the bathtub to cry in intrigues me. Perhaps to wash the blood of?

I'm not planning any anarchist activity, but I can understand why Berrigan would spend eleven years in jail and throw himself into the gears of the war machine. Hardly an insane act in light of the insanity of nuclear weapons and a capitalism which creates people like Suharto.

This too shall pass. Perhaps Aurobindo will help.
God has a desperate need for people at green and yellow and may well find a use for them. Smiler

Blessings and thanks for hanging out... -mm
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wilber says that everyone is right and all are ONE! Smiler
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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See these Wilber-related threads for substantive treatment of similar themes:
http://shalomplace.com/ubb/ult..._topic;f=13;t=000098

http://shalomplace.com/ubb/ult..._topic;f=13;t=000133
 
Posts: 2881 | Registered: 25 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There's more substantive "peer review" critique (something Wilber doesn't like) by Jeff Meyerhoff at http://www.integralworld.net/i...eyerhoff-ba-toc.html E.g.,
quote:


The contention that people who have an experience of the Ultimate have some advantage over those who have not in debates about the cross-cultural similarity or dissimilarity of mysticisms may seem convincing, but when examined more closely really has no bearing on such debates. According to Wilber's journals, his non-dual experience dates from the later 80's. He wrote The Spectrum of Consciousness in the late 70's, where he made his argument for the perennial philosophy. Does his not having had the ultimate mystical experience invalidate his argument? No. Let's assume he did have by that time a glimpse of the Absolute, would it have lent more credence to his argument? No, because to argue that all the major mystical traditions lead towards the same ultimate state and to argue that it requires experiential knowledge to evaluate this requires one person to have achieved the Ultimate through all the different traditions. There is no one like that.
Touche'

quote:
Even having a glimpse of the Ultimate through one tradition doesn't lend greater credence to one's perennial philosophy arguments, because, as Wilber himself had to do in The Spectrum of Consciousness, one still has to read the relevant mystical texts and show with words that the major mystical traditions all point to the same goal. It's the validity of the textual analysis that is the ultimate determiner of correctness whether you're the Dalai Lama, Steven Katz or Ken Wilber. This is why it's a losing battle for mystics to try to prove the ultimacy of their insight using the tools of rational debate. And it is why mystics say that one must transcend language and conceptuality to realize the ultimate insight.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Andre Marquis, Janice Holden, and Scott Warren at the University of North Texas write, in their Response to Helminiak's Treatment of Spiritual Issues in Psychotherapy at http://wilber.shambhala.com/ht...helminiak/index.cfm/ :

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Thus, our appreciation and respect for Helminiak's (2001) efforts to develop a spiritual psychology for the mental health profession are outweighed by our overriding reaction that his model provides a far less comprehensive approach than does Wilber's (1999a) integral psychology model. We came to Helminiak's work with a background in integral psychology, and we approached his work with the question of whether it added to, or even might more comprehensively substitute for, the integral perspective. Our answer on both accounts is, essentially, no. Whereas Wilber's integral perspective encompasses, clarifies, and affirms Helminiak's views as well as numerous phenomena that Helminiak addressed incidentally or not at all, Helminiak's (p. 17) outright rejection of Wilber's model shows that, conversely, Helminiak's model does not encompass the integral perspective. We value the broadest possible approach to spiritual psychology because it seems better suited to account for the experiences of all people across cultures and throughout history; consequently, we opt to continue to use the integral perspective as our guiding model. However, we want to repeat that the integral model does not reject but, rather, affirms much of Helminiak's model as having some applicability for, but only for, the level of human experience it addresses. Because Wilber's integral perspective subsumes Helminiak's, the integral model would appear to offer mental health professionals a more complete framework with which to conceptualize and work with the varieties of spiritual experiences and issues that clients might bring to counseling.


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The dynamic going on here, in this critique of Helminiak, in my view, is the failure to draw the distinction between what is a comprehensive but necessarily vague heuristic device (Wilber�s integral account) and a more robustly explanatory but necessarily incomplete theoretic account (Helminiak�s Lonerganian account).

Both approaches aspire to the same goals of integrality but only Helminiak�s approach lends itself to empirical falsifiability within an appropriately fallibilist hermeneutic. Wilber�s approach, ironically, misses the integrality mark by facilely conflating same with comprehensivity, which is a confusion between, on one hand, a successful reference of a reality with, on the other hand, a successful description of that reality, which again lends itself to empirical falsifiability and predictability, hypothetical fecundity, rational demonstrability and a host of other epistemic criteria, which will be examined in my engagement of this article. In other words, to talk about many, many things might meet the criteria of comprehensivity, and that is fine for heuristic placeholding, but this is a distinct epistemic enterprise from explaining and predicting in a robustly scientific approach.

Andre Marquis, Janice Holden, and Scott Warren at the University of North Texas write, in their Response to Helminiak's Treatment of Spiritual Issues in Psychotherapy at http://wilber.shambhala.com/ht...helminiak/index.cfm/

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... from the integral perspective, a humanistic, existential perspective is not uniquely spiritual and is inadequate to address the spiritual domain. In Wilber's (1999a) model, the existential domain is found at the outer limits of the personal realm of development, just short of the qualitatively different transpersonal domain. Helminiak (2001) did briefly mention that the cultivation of spirituality "would result in an on-going way of living and/or extraordinary experiences associated with enlightenment or mysticism" (p. 7). However, he did not elaborate on these phenomena described by contemplatives the world over as involving transcendence of some of the very precepts Helminiak considers central to spirituality: "intelligence" and "rationality" (p. 9). How can the cultivation of rationality spawn experiences and a way of life that are transrational? On a related note, Helminiak argued that his transcendental precepts are self validating, in that, to critique them is to invoke them. However, from the integral perspective, the entire domain of rational discourse belongs to the level of reason -- the personal spheres of development; although they are highly appropriate within those levels, they are not inherently spiritual.


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Let's reintroduce the Peircean rubric, that the normative sciences (logic, ethics, aesthetics; the philosophic) mediate between phenomenology (science, the empirical, the positivist, the descriptive) and metaphysics (the interpretive; the thestic) to effect human value-realizations (the evaluative; truth, beauty, goodness & unity; creed, cult, code & community; the theotic).

As a human being develops --- intellectually, affectively, morally, socially and religiously, there is already an integral dance going on between all of these faculties --- rational, nonrational and transrational. Rationally, we learn reading, writing and arithmetic. Nonrationally, we grow affectively, our neurotic reactivity yielding to a more life-enhancing and relationship-enhancing existential responsivity. Transrationally, our relationships with parent and siblings and society are slowly being transformed from the merely functional to the robustly personal. The rational, in a real way, mediates along the way, between our nonrational and transrational value-realizations effecting conversions: intellectually, affectively, morally, socially and religiously.

Our trasnrationality does not emerge, therefore, out of our rationality, which did not emerge out of our nonrationality. They were all already innately present and integrally-related.

From this perspective then, the question How can the cultivation of rationality spawn experiences and a way of life that are transrational? is a nonsensical category error, the very premises of which we reject.

Also, we categorically reject this: However, from the integral perspective, the entire domain of rational discourse belongs to the level of reason -- the personal spheres of development; although they are highly appropriate within those levels, they are not inherently spiritual.

This is a flat-out denial of integrality from the standpoint of psychological development and Lonerganian conversion.

Andre Marquis, Janice Holden, and Scott Warren at the University of North Texas write, in their Response to Helminiak's Treatment of Spiritual Issues in Psychotherapy at http://wilber.shambhala.com/ht...helminiak/index.cfm/

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Helminiak (2001) also asserted that "spirituality names the committed pursuit to become the best one can be" (p. 7) and that "spiritual practices are geared toward enhancing inner experiences" (p. 28).

From the integral perspective (Wilber, 1999a), the goals of self-improvement and experiential enhancement belong to the domain of spiritual translation. However, the self-transcending dimension by which Helminiak himself defined spirit pertains, in the integral perspective, to spiritual transformation. Helminiak not only failed to discriminate between these two processes but actually entangled them. Translation fortifies the self and its experiences; transformation aims to dismantle and destroy the sense of separate self. In Zen, enhanced "inner experiences" are called makyo (Ma -- devil; kyo -- the objective world). Although they are not inherently "evil," they can powerfully divert spiritual seekers who are "ignorant of [the] true nature [of these experiences] and [who are] ensnared by them" (Yasutani Roshi in Kapleau, 1989, p. 42). Chogyam Trungpa referred to the pursuit of such experiences as "spiritual materialism" (1973, p. 13). From an integral perspective, what Helminiak's spirituality is "geared toward" actually interferes with his definition and defined goal of spirit: self-transendence.


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At the crux of this argument lies the question of just what one might mean by self-transcendence.

So, if one takes that to mean going beyond one's sense of self or persona or False Self or socialized self or functional self

to a sense of one's True Self, seeing oneself as God sees oneself with Ignatius, with a sense of self in relationship to God and others that is no longer merely functional but robustly relational,

then, quite simply put, we do not disvalue our socialized, functional self

but, instead, realize that we need to get in touch with a sense of our more authentic self, beyond any facade or persona or mask,

if we want to enjoy deeply personal relationships, intimate even, with God and others.

This does not comport with any notion that transformation aims to dismantle and destroy the sense of separate self.. Wilber and Helminiak are using two definitions of transformation, with different categories even. Helminiak's internal coherence and logical consistency cannot be subverted from without by using Wilber's definitions and categories and it cannot be subverted from within because he is manifestly consistent and coherent.

Finally, they begin to get the point, however incohately: Helminiak not only failed to discriminate between these two processes but actually entangled them.

That is correct! They ARE "entangled ," which is another way of recognizing that they ARE integrally-related.

Andre Marquis, Janice Holden, and Scott Warren at the University of North Texas write, in their Response to Helminiak's Treatment of Spiritual Issues in Psychotherapy at http://wilber.shambhala.com/ht...helminiak/index.cfm/


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Regarding theism, Helminiak (2001) asserted that the human concept of God is often merely projection and, therefore, unreliable. He also cited Wilber's assertion -- and, we might add, the collective assertion of contemplatives across history and cultures -- that the innermost consciousness of humans is identical to the absolute and ultimate reality of the universe. Helminiak seemed to have concluded that this assertion also is a projection and, therefore, is incompatible with his spiritual psychology. For people who have not directly realized the Absolute, this issue becomes a question of authority. For ourselves, we find greater authority in the collective wisdom of the world's saints and sages, and we consider the exclusion of that wisdom to render any spiritual psychology incomplete, even potentially harmful.


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Let us back up here and distinguish the nature of the claims under consideration by careful parsing.

Regarding theism, Helminiak (2001) asserted that the human concept of God is often merely projection and, therefore, unreliable.

This is an empirical datum, verifiable and falsifiable by the science of psychology.

He also cited Wilber's assertion -- and, we might add, the collective assertion of contemplatives across history and cultures -- that the innermost consciousness of humans is identical to the absolute and ultimate reality of the universe.

The nature of human consciousness, in the philosophy of mind, is what is known as the hard problem of consciousness. Slowly but inexorably, scientists and philosophers have made progress on this. It is both an empirical scientific question and an empirical metaphysical question, and the question perdures. There are all sorts of philosophy of mind positions by some very competent philosophers and neuroscientists. I lean toward a nonreductive physicalist account but am, at bottom, metaphysically agnostic where this question is concerned.

To the extent, however, that Wilber has also introduced a theological assertion that the innermost consciousness of humans is identical to the absolute and ultimate reality of the universe, at that point we are dealing with not only a metaphysically heuristic or scientifically theoretic matter but a theologically dogmatic matter. And there is no real arguing over dogmatic propositions since they tend to be adjudicated, in the end, by nonpropositional aspects of our epistemic stance.

This is not to deny a place for natural theology which can demonstrate the reasonableness of our claims even if not producing conclusive proofs beyond a mere Scottish verdict. What we can argue, however, is Wilber's facile invocation of authority, a fallacious appeal but, like I said, we have to fall back on nonpropositional aspects vis a vis our will to believe and the existential warrants that back it up as a living, vital and forced option.

Ergo, to the extent that, for themselves, they find greater authority in the collective wisdom of the world's saints and sages, then they have ipso facto dismissed the authorities of all monotheistic traditions and movements, in general, and the Abrahamic traditions, in particular.

Not only have they cursorily dismissed the authority of philosophers and scientists who remain conflicted over the nature of consciousness, considering it both epistemologically and ontologically open, they have dismissed any religious or ideological tradition that is not either pantheist or based on some idealist monism.

Andre Marquis, Janice Holden, and Scott Warren at the University of North Texas write, in their Response to Helminiak's Treatment of Spiritual Issues in Psychotherapy at http://wilber.shambhala.com/ht...helminiak/index.cfm/

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We believe Helminiak's (2001) model will not be very helpful to mental health professionals (MHPs) who are not already proficient in spiritual matters. Take, for example, his approach to validating aspects of spirituality. Referring to a client's belief in God, the need to have meaning in one's life, and so forth (translative spirituality), he wrote, "Insofar as these beliefs and practices facilitate the integration of organism, psyche, and spirit in the client, a therapist's support of them is actually fostering spiritual growth" (p. 18).

How is an MHP to determine whether or not a belief or practice is facilitating integration or reinforcing pathology in the sense of Battista's (1996) offensive and defensive spirituality? We believe the integral model has provided far more guidance. One example is Wilber, Engler, and Brown's (1986) accounts of how Vipassana meditation loosens and breaks down psychic structure. Thus, for a client suffering from psychotic, borderline, or narcissistic disorders -- disorders involving an insufficiently organized sense of self -- recommending or affirming such meditation is contraindicated. This notion has been corroborated even by those unsympathetic with the transpersonal perspective (Yalom, 1989, p. 52-53).

We endorse Helminiak's (2001) attempt to establish criteria for evaluating the healthfulness of various spiritual/religious beliefs -- at least of clients in the prepersonal and personal spheres of development with little or no experience of the transpersonal. However, one of us (Holden) has been using a similar criterion for years which, compared to Helminiak's, she still finds more elegant: the old "1, 2, 3" National Association of Mental Health criteria of whether a belief or practice helps one 1) feel better about oneself, 2) have more harmonious relationships with others, and 3) carry out more effectively the tasks of daily life. In addition, from the integral perspective, once one crosses into the mystical domain of the transpersonal, criteria such as these remain valuable only to a point.


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At what point would criteria like these lose their value?

I have my sneaking suspicions as to how this would be answered by one who disvalues the socialized, functional sense of self.

Andre Marquis, Janice Holden, and Scott Warren at the University of North Texas write, in their Response to Helminiak's Treatment of Spiritual Issues in Psychotherapy at http://wilber.shambhala.com/ht...helminiak/index.cfm/

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We further believe Helminiak's (2001) limited existential perspective could risk laying the groundwork for a counselor to do harm. One form of potential harm involves category errors, as when, for example, a counselor indiscriminately conceptually reduces a near-death experience to a consoling fantasy built into the human brain through evolution to comfort the person facing existential annihilation. Another form of potential harm in an exclusively existential view is that the counselor lacks a framework to offer a client who seeks to understand a transpersonal experience. For example, how can an existential perspective explain spontaneous physical healing or the complex phenomenon of spiritual emergency (Holden, VanPelt, & Warren, 1999)? "At stake," as Helminiak likes to say, is whether to affirm a spiritual reality that is not merely existential: not merely "intelligent" but also intuitive and contemplative, not merely "rational" but also transrational, not merely "humanistic" but also transpersonal yet apprehensible to humans.


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Yes, I like to say that, too. Beyond but not without. What's at stake is integrality, itself.

What seems to be missing from this account is that Helminiak's paradigm does not begin and end with the positivist and philosophic foci of human concern. It precisely anticipates the broadening of these foci to include the theistic and theotic, which have all manner of interpretations available for all manner of experiences, none of which a good MHP would cruelly dispossess a client.
 
Posts: 2881 | Registered: 25 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is not to deny a place for natural theology which can demonstrate the reasonableness of our claims even if not producing conclusive proofs beyond a mere Scottish verdict. What we can argue, however, is Wilber's facile invocation of authority, a fallacious appeal but, like I said, we have to fall back on nonpropositional aspects vis a vis our will to believe and the existential warrants that back it up as a living, vital and forced option.

Ergo, to the extent that, for themselves, they find greater authority in the collective wisdom of the world's saints and sages, then they have ipso facto dismissed the authorities of all monotheistic traditions and movements, in general, and the Abrahamic traditions, in particular.

Not only have they cursorily dismissed the authority of philosophers and scientists who remain conflicted over the nature of consciousness, considering it both epistemologically and ontologically open, they have dismissed any religious or ideological tradition that is not either pantheist or based on some idealist monism.
I think you've put your finger on the heart of the issue, JB. Excellent analysis! Thank you for sifting through that extensive critique of Helminiak's work. Your concluding remark summarizes things very well.

I've only skimmed their response, but was left with a bad taste early on when they wrote: Because Wilber's integral perspective subsumes Helminiak's, the integral model would appear to offer mental health professionals a more complete framework with which to conceptualize and work with the varieties of spiritual experiences and issues that clients might bring to counseling. They are two different ways of understanding human consciousness and spirituality. Just because Wilber believe human and divine consciousness is something of a "run-on" and Helminiak doesn't, it doesn't follow that Helminiak's approach is therefore narrower or less useful to counselors, especially if Wilber's contention is considered true only within certain religious perspectives, as you noted.

Again . . . nice work, and thank you for sharing it with us.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So I have to give a presentation on Ken Wilber's life and work at a forthcoming SpiritLife day. Arghh, you just can't overlook this guy when it comes to his influence on spiritual writers today. But every time I get into him a bit, I come upon all sorts of reservations.

I will list here Geoff's website, which has some very thorough critiques. Also fun to read! Smiler Enjoy!
 
Posts: 3570 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 27 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Phil.. i know this is over simplified.. but in my opinion . he is way to ' mental' in his approach to spirituality.... to put it mildly, it leaves me cold..

hope all is well with you Phil.. regards, Christine
 
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Hi Christine! Good to 'see' you again! Hope all is well with you and your family. If you drop in when I'm on line, let's go to the chat room and catch up, wanna?

Phil,

I just started reading Geoff's critique of Wilber. I remember him from "Stripping the Gurus" discussion. Screaming funny guy! Reading Geoff is better than getting dressed up, driving downtown, and paying for comedy. Big Grin

Good luck with your presentation. Smiler
 
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Yes, good to hear from you, Christine. Wilber is very "mental," but he's more of a philosopher than a spiritual writer, so that's to be expected.

Shasha, Geoff Falk really is fun to read -- about most anything he writes about.

I'll be fair to Wilber, presenting in straightforward manner what his 4QAL approach is all about. I actually like it, but what I don't like is how he's permeated it with his monistic theology. What follows is from part of an email I sent to JB today; we've been discussing Wilber lately.

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. . . His theological and mystical bias is clearly monistic/Buddhist/advaita/Daism -- call it nondualism (nd), for short. Fine with me if someone wants to believe that, and to practice Buddhism (or whatever it is he calls his spirituality nowadays). Millions of people do and they don't bother me one bit. What Wilber does, however, is different. He slides between philosophy, science, mysticism and Eastern theology in his teaching (and sometimes in his writing) in such manner as to blur proper interdisciplinary boundaries. Thus does he appropriate 4QAL in the service of his monistic paradigm in such manner as one gets the sense that it somehow "proves" his paradigm -- that this is all a mapping of how the One is expressing Itself in these various levels. I've no idea why he even bothered to plot "lines" in UL except, I guess, to show how it is that some eventually come to be established in nd -- never mind that not one developmentalist I know of has any such stage -- not even Spiral Dynamics. If nd is meant to say something like what we mean by union, then that's fine; I suspect that's how Keating, Rohr, and Bourgeault mean it (though the more they hang around Wilber and chum it up with him, the more I wonder). So where's the proof that human development terminates in a stage we might call nondual consciousness? There's none that I know of. But if Wilber says so and posits that the holons ultimately point in that direction, then so it must be. He be the man, right?

Ideas like monism and creationism (traditional, orthodox, not what the fundies teach) have consequences, and one of them pertains to how individual human life is understood. To my understanding, creationism is much more affirming of human dignity and meaning, as we believe that people are real beings in their own right and not just part of some impersonal divinity that is working out its issues (or entertaining itself, or becoming conscious, or "expressing," etc.). For monists, affirmations of human individuality seem to be generally understood as maya -- a strained effort of the Ego, which is understood to be our primary obstacle to "waking up." I cannot fathom how meaning in life can be affirmed in such a system, for in the end, there is no real "you" except the divine. Every time I read monists (or implicit ones like BR), I am left feeling sad, depressed. There is no good news, here. No incentive to actualize one's potential. If what I call "me" is really an illusion, then let the divine that I am wake up in me and do the damned work! Why would I have been created asleep, deluded, and screwed up in the first place if the divine is all there is? Not a very smart god, here, and certainly not a good one! The doctrine of creation allows for another kind of accounting for how things got screwed up, as you know, and proposes a God who is the basis of real hope. Monism does not; God is the one who is screwed up, it would seem, if, ultimately, creatures (if we may call them such) have no real being of their own.

None of this is to say that 4QAL and its nested holons are wrong; I mostly like it and think it's a good map, on the whole. One could imagine someone like Teilhard appropriating something like this in the service of charting the emergence of Omega Point, with Yellow and Turquoise signaling a shift in the noosphere unto a more intensely conscious human community. Teilhard is positing a variant of theosis, which, as you know, is affirming of human individuality as we become transformed by grace. A Teilhardian would be just as guilty as Wilber, however, in using 4QAL this way. We really don't know the "end game," and we cannot really appropriate the findings of developmentalists, sociologists, biologists, etc. to support our theological biases. We can say their findings don't conflict with our bias, but Wilber often seems to take matters further than that.

So, in the end, the way I see it, is that 4QAL a la Wilber (and who else is it "a la" -- it's his baby) turns out, ultimately, to be a tool to promote his monistic bias. Adi Da, his most esteemed teacher, would be proud.
 
Posts: 3570 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 27 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wilber is not a disciple of Jesus Christ. For a Christian to put stock in his teaching is patently -- DUH!

Much better ways to spend one's time.

Reading scripture for example. Reading the revelation of Jesus Christ would definitely profit a Christian more than reading Wilberian fandangle.


The beginning of wisdom is get wisdom. Inhabit the company of wise men -- and who is wiser than Our Lord?

Who do you say He is?

Pop-pop
 
Posts: 465 | Registered: 20 October 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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amen to that pop pop... the thing is.. Wilbur represents much of what IS the new religion today... and i for one find it deadening to the soul...it feeds the philosophical mind..not drawing one to the heart/ reality of Christ.

love christine..

oh, Shasha. will be looking for you online to chatSmiler would love to visitSmiler
 
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As Phil properly noted, ideas do have consequences, theoretical concepts do have practical implications. He and I recently sorted through Wilber's nondual notions to locate some of those. I'm looking forward to Phil's presentation. Below is the Reader's Digest version of my take:

1) description of phenomenal experiences of nondual realizations - I can identify with KW's account and understand and even resonate with much of it

2) a nondual epistemic approach, in my view, is an indispensable complement to the dualistic for optimal human value-realization but KW's epistemology (AQAL) runs off the rails of epistemic virtue when he introduces his 3rd Eye

3) while all philosophies of mind are necessarily tautological, the most taut to me is the nondual, but a physicalist and not KW's essentialist account

4) while all metaphysics are also tautological, a nondual account of the created order, while incomplete, is the most consistent, in my view, but this is my provisional closure and i remain metaphysically agnostic

5) a vague nondual (unitary & intraobjective)god-concept is an indispensable complement to our dualist concept (unitive & intersubjective) and I resonate with KW's panentheism although important distinctions remain between our approaches (my panen-theism, or, more accurately, panSEMIOentheism, vs KW's pan-entheism, the former implying an indwelling, the latter a whole, The One, that is greater than the sum of its parts, The Many.)

Ergo, for me, Item #2 has the more significant practical implications by virtue of making KW's epistemology arational rather than transrational, or inclusive but not truly integral.

As for the lexicon of the nondual, its etymology grows out of inter-faith dialogue, and efforts to translate Eastern scriptures into English, mostly, but also modern philosophy of mind approaches (over against Cartesian dualism). I find it helpful (necessary really) to use it, since that's the present convention, but I have also felt led to introduce some neologisms to better capture important nuances that are lost in translation and which can lead to profound misunderstandings.

Finally, in a post above from several years ago, playing off of Daniel Helminiak's critique, I remarked on the practical implications of KW's pantheism. But Daniel had this wrong and so I withdraw my older conclusions.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: johnboy.philothea,
 
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JB, I don't know that this will all makes sense to those unfamiliar with some of the terms you're using, but it's a good summary of the points you've been making in our recent email exchanges.

Could you clarify the distinction you're making between pan-entheism and panen-theism, and these two with pantheism? Also, I've been under the impression that Wilber was a monist, and I've understood monism and pantheism to go hand-in-hand.

I've just watched http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAqfrxjexXk and might show parts of it to my class this weekend. This sounds very monistic/pantheistic to me. Maybe that resonates with your point #2 about his 3rd eye teaching "running off the rails."

Re. Helminiak getting it wrong (about Wilber's monism/pantheism, I'm guessing). Could you say a little more about that? I thought H's main point was that Wilber conflated consciousness with God and made no essential distinctions between human and divine consciousness. That's certain been my sense of what he's teaching.

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Here's a critique by Frank Visser, who has been very active in the Integral community and is a fan of Wilber, and a critic as well.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...C6zY&feature=related
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Phil:
JB, I don't know that this will all makes sense to those unfamiliar with some of the terms you're using, but it's a good summary of the points you've been making in our recent email exchanges.


Right, as I wrote on this thread:
quote:
This concise question is dense because it is loaded with jargon that requires extensive unpacking. Perhaps we can do that after Lent and some of this will likely be unpacked when Phil shares his Wilber presentation.


quote:
Originally posted by Phil: Could you clarify the distinction you're making between pan-entheism and panen-theism, and these two with pantheism?


I'm glad you asked b/c I set them forth backwards (never can remember this one). Pan-entheism is the indwelling and panen-theism is the whole greater than the sum of its parts schema. At any rate: See the orthodox wiki for more info.

quote:
Originally posted by Phil: Also, I've been under the impression that Wilber was a monist, and I've understood monism and pantheism to go hand-in-hand. [jb edit] Re. Helminiak getting it wrong (about Wilber's monism/pantheism, I'm guessing). Could you say a little more about that? I thought H's main point was that Wilber conflated consciousness with God and made no essential distinctions between human and divine consciousness. That's certain been my sense of what he's teaching.
They do but so does panen-theism and it allows for (requires) developmental dynamics vis a vis pragmatic reality.

See NON-DUALITY IN KEN WILBER’S INTEGRAL PHILOSOPHY: A CRITICAL APPRAISAL AND ALTERNATIVE PHYSICALIST PERSPECTIVE OF MYSTICAL CONSCIOUSNESS by JEREMY JOHN JACOBS 2009 , where Jacobs explains:
quote:
Helminiak (1998:223) also criticises Wilber at this juncture and discerns animistic tendencies in Wilber’s writing, but he assumes too much by asserting that Wilber claims that physical matter is consciousness in gross, dense form. On the contrary, Wilber is careful to qualify his consciousness-matter metaphors and professes instead to develop a strong form of panentheism or immanentalism that expresses the emergence of consciousness through matter, to body, to mind, to Spirit as holarchical strata in the evolutionary process. These strata are thus inextricable and continuous expressions of Spirit unfolding through, and as matter, but not in fully enlightened awareness in any spatial component of matter, and therefore not wholly emergent at every level as Helminiak’s criticism maintains. Wilber thus rejects Helminiak’s observation on the grounds that pantheism permits a conceptual grasp of Spirit that obviates the need for real transformation. More simply, if Spirit is viewed as the sum of the empirical universe, there is no need for spiritual awakening since Spirit should then be fully evident in the stuff of the universe (Wilber 1996e:154).62 Wilber seems to propose a form of irreducible ‘differentiated unity’ which is the Suchness (isness, thatness) of all phenomena in all forms through the holarchical strata of his spectrum model, only to be ultimately subsumed and transcended in Absolute Oneness in NDC (1997a:60). Helminiak (1998:225) misunderstands this point and accuses Wilber of a pantheistic reduction of God to matter.


quote:
Originally posted by Phil:I've just watched http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAqfrxjexXk and might show parts of it to my class this weekend. This sounds very monistic/pantheistic to me. Maybe that resonates with your point #2 about his 3rd eye teaching "running off the rails."


Without watching the video, let me just say that any monism, as an ontology, is indeed related to one's epistemology, as our epistemologies tend to model our ontologies and this is true in KW's case. But from a practical perspective, Wilber's panen-theism ameliorates many of the consequences that would ensue from an unnuanced pantheism. So, his epistemology isn't rising or falling with either his philosophy of mind, his metaphysic or his onto-theology. It is flawed because he conflates nondual consciousness, a phenomenal experience, with the otherwise autonomous methods of descriptive science and normative philosophy. One can only interpret what has been described and normed. He's treating an interpretation as if it's a theoretic description and, worse, as an essentialistic absolute rather than a falsifiable hypothesis. In Helminiak's terminology, he violates the heirarchy of positivistic and philosophic horizons of concerns which SHOULD constrain one's interpretive endeavors, whether theistic, atheistic or nontheistic. Not thus constrained, one can make stuff up Roll Eyes
 
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Ha. Smiler You can not only make stuff up, but sound like you know what you're talking about and your dazzled lay audience can believe it is so.

When you have a chance, watch that youtube cited above -- the one in your quote in the post above this one. It's not even 5 min. long, and he goes on about I Am consciousness, and how one moves from feeling "alone" to "Alone." I was reminded of the link you sent me where he talks about creation as "God's amnesia."
- http://www.mikemorrell.org/201...wilber-on-one-taste/

I just feel so sad -- such a heaviness! -- when I hear this sort of thing. Where's the good news, here? How different from the Judeo-Christian idea of creation overflowing from the superabundant love of the Trinity. We never hear Jesus speaking of being-in-God (or awakening to I Am-ness) as a state of being Alone. In Jn. 8:29 and 16:32, he speaks of how he is never alone for the Father is always with him.

Whatever Helminiak's misunderstanding of Wilber re. pantheistic reductionism, I think he's right on in his central criticism, which is that Wilber does not distinguish between divine and human spiritual consciousness. That's very clear in that youtube video and in some of his writings. At 0.45 seconds, he talks about how you can
quote:
feel into this I Am-ness, which you can do right now. . . this is not a substance, not an eternal soul . . . (according to Buddhism) neither an Atman nor a non-Atman . . . you get this sense of a pure I Am-ness . . . what if there is only one Self. . . everybody's heard this a million times, there's only one Spirit . . . what if there is just this one Self of mine, there is no other Self anywhere in the universe, you're It . . . you have to feel into that I Am-ness . . . you have to realize that all of this (life, phenomena, I guess) is just a dream, a projection of my Self . . . (then on to talking about Alone-ness)

My sense in all this is that what Wilber is calling "spirit" is the attentional consciousness of the spiritual soul that we are. How else could we "feel into it?" You cannot "feel into God," as I understand God; it is not in our control or ability to do that. But you can relax into your non-reflective spiritual consciousness and thus experience your I am-ness, which is spiritual and thus cosmically open. This is what I call self as well, and I understand it to be the image and likeness of the divine, a reflection of the divine's I AM-ness within. The divine's I AM-ness lies beyond my own. I think you would call this an intra-objective or unitary experience, which is similar to what I mean by the God-Self interface.

At any rate, you can see from all this why Helminiak and others accuse Wilber of conflating human and divine consciousness. He does. And this video is a good example of how he presents himself not simply as a philosopher or map-maker, but as a spiritual teacher as well, and one who speaks with authority, at that.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Phil:
... We never hear Jesus speaking of being-in-God (or awakening to I Am-ness) as a state of being Alone. In Jn. 8:29 and 16:32, he speaks of how he is never alone for the Father is always with him.... You cannot "feel into God," as I understand God; it is not in our control or ability to do that. ...
Right, that's my sense too.

Last night, I listened to that utube video and a few other Wilber teachings. Seems I-AMness has gone to Wilber's head. Wink Jesus talked about the Father in very different ways than Wilber 'relates' to Self. And who wants to die alone...or even Alone?
 
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Good point, Shasha. And did you note that he's claiming an experience of "I Am" that is not Atman (Hindu) or non-Atman (Buddhist no-self) but something even beyond? What could he be talking about?

He's talking about the mystical experience he learned to "feel into" from Adi Da (aka Franklin Jones, Bubba Free John, Da Free John, Da Love Ananda, and maybe some other names he took on through the years). Da taught this method of full-body surrender following a general affective sense of I Am-ness. I've read Easy Death by Da, and parts of The Dawn Horse Testament, which includes Wilber's gushing, glowing endorsement, as follows (boldface mine):
quote:
This is not merely my personal opinion; this is a perfectly obvious fact, available to anyone of intelligence, sensitivity, and integrity: The Dawn Horse Testament is the most ecstatic, most profound, most complete, most radical, and most comprehensive single spiritual text ever to be penned and confessed by the Human Transcendental Spirit. That seems an objective fact; here is my own personal and humbler opinion. I am honored (even awed) to be allowed in its Presence, to listen to and Hear the Potent Message of the Heart-Master Da. How can the soul not bow down to such a Message? What other is the appropriate response? How can I not say what I am saying? How, in the face of such a Testament, can we possible justify neglect?

At the very least, it is perfectly obvious that there is now no excuse whatsoever for any intelligent and spiritually-minded person, of whatever persuasion, not to be at least a student (or one who simply studies the Written Teachings) of Master Da Free John. The days of denial are over; this nonsense of neglect cannot continue, with any rational reason. I ask my friends, my students, my readers, even my casual acquaintances, to see and recognize and—above all—confess the Realization that Master Da is.

I do not understand why so many thousands of people—who have heartily expressed to me the opinion that my own written works express great clarity, judgment, and understanding—balk and look in disbelief when I speak ecstatically of the Heart Master Da. It is as if my friends believe everything I say except that Master Da is a genuine Adept, Free at the Heart, Confessed in Radiance, Transcendent to it all. How has my judgment suddenly lapsed in regard to this Man? I am as certain of this Man as I am of anything I have written—in fact, as certain as I am of my own hand (which apparently claps by itself in solitude when it comes to this Great Issue). So I make only one request: if you do only one thing to test my judgment in this matter, please read this The Dawn Horse Testament cover to cover (and I mean cover to cover), an then I will be glad to argue with you if you still wish—but not before. And, I think, we will then see who the Master of the Heart really is. Is that not fair? Read this Man, Listen to this Man, Hear this Man, then See Him. And then, I think, you will stand Smiling.

What else do you really want? What else can I say?

That was in the mid-80s, I believe (I can't find my copy of Dawn Horse these days). What else Ken can say is that Da turned out to be a major disaster -- a bona fied cult leader guilty of a range of abuses. Wilber eventually acknowledged this and used it to point out that one can be a spiritual genius, but un-integrated morally, emotionally, socially, etc. Well . . . whatever! He has never expressed regret over his endorsement of Da, and how it probably helped steer people to Adidam, the religion founded by Da.
- see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...1986.E2.80.932006.29 for more info on Adi Da.
 
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quote:
Seems I-AMness has gone to Wilber's head. Wink Jesus talked about the Father in very different ways than Wilber 'relates' to Self. A

yep... couldn't agree more Shasha.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Phil:
... I was reminded of the link you sent me where he talks about creation as "God's amnesia."
- http://www.mikemorrell.org/201...wilber-on-one-taste/
....
That God gave Himself a massive case of amnesia in order to manifest as many so as not to have dinner alone, to have fun?

Does that make gut-level sense to anybody out there?? Or is it bloody nonsense? You decide:

-----------------------

But if you are going to play the great cosmic Game, that is what you yourself set into motion. How else can you do it? If there are no parts and no players and no suffering and no Many, then you simply remain as the One and Only, Alone and Aloof. But it’s no fun having dinner alone. ...

Spirit is not the good half of the opposites, but the ground of all the opposites, and our “salvation,” as it were, is not to find the good half of the dualism but to find the Source of both halves of the dualism, for that is what we are in truth. We are both sides in the great Game of Life, because we—you and I, in the deepest recesses of our very Self—have created both of these opposites in order to have a grand game of cosmic checkers....

--------


And notice more degrading of Christian theology here:
----------------
...to get rid of the pain—the sin, the suffering, the dukkha—you must remember who and what you really are. This remembrance, this recollection, this anamnesis—”Do this in Remembrance of Me”—means, “Do this in Remembrance of the Self that You Are”—Tat Tvam Asi. The great mystical religions the world over consist of a series of profound practices to quiet the small self that we pretend we are—which causes the pain and suffering that you feel—and awaken as the Great Self that is our own true ground and goal and destiny—”Let this consciousness be in you which was in Christ Jesus.
-----

Notice a weird contradiction here: You/God created the pain to have fun, AND, now you/God need to remember who you are as God to escape the pain!

The fun ends when you, as God, are cured of your Kosmic Amnesia. Are you with me in this screwy conundrum?

What a sick God who would require the duality of pain and pleasure to have fun. What a lame God who would need to limit his awareness to derive pleasure! And this is what Ken said he personally experienced, that he was lonely in the Alone expanse of nirvikalpa samadhi and felt an inkling to create a world.

Again, this is a far cry from what the Christian mystics say about union with God. It is very different from what Jesus said about how He and the Father would make their home in us if we keep His commands and love Him.
 
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Yes, all very different, Shasha. Not my favorite creation story, either. Wink But I don't think it's unique to Wilber. I've read much the same in Deepak Chopra, and even responded to that somewhere on the board years ago. I've also come across it in other places, so it must be an Eastern myth that attempts to explain the connection between the One and the many.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Phil:
... And did you note that he's claiming an experience of "I Am" that is not Atman (Hindu) or non-Atman (Buddhist no-self) but something even beyond? What could he be talking about?

He's talking about the mystical experience he learned to "feel into" from Adi Da ... Da taught this method of full-body surrender following a general affective sense of I Am-ness. ... What else Ken can say is that Da turned out to be a major disaster -- a bona fied cult leader guilty of a range of abuses. Wilber eventually acknowledged this and used it to point out that one can be a spiritual genius, but un-integrated morally, emotionally, socially, etc. Well . . . whatever! He has never expressed regret over his endorsement of Da, and how it probably helped steer people to Adidam, the religion founded by Da.
- see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...1986.E2.80.932006.29 for more info on Adi Da.
No, I hadn't noticed that, but I watched it again and heard that reference. I wonder what they are surrendered to, exactly? Actually, no, I don't really want to know...It is disturbing that Wilber never expressed regret for steering people in the wrong direction.
 
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Shasha, see http://www.adidam.org/ for more info on Adidam and the religion he founded. The home page obviously promotes him as God incarnate. Note in the wikipedia article (link below) on him that he claims that he alone attained the 7th stage of consciousness -- higher than even Jesus. You can read there, too, about his "garbage and goddess period" where he
quote:
directed his followers in "sexual theater", a form of psychodrama[75] that often involved public and group sex, the making of pornographic movies, and other intensified sexual practices.[76] Drug and alcohol use were often encouraged, and earlier proscriptions against meat and "junk food" were no longer adhered to. Adi Da said that this behavior was part of a radical overturning of all conventional moral values and social contracts[78][79] in order to help shock students into insights regarding habitual patterns and emotional attachments so that they could more completely surrender to him and the community.[80][81][82][83] Conventional marriage received Adi Da's particular criticism, and many couples were forced to split up or switch partners.[84][85][86] Adi Da himself had nine or more polygamous partners during this time that he called his "wives", including Playboy centerfold Julie Anderson, aka "Whitney Kaine" who had entered the community as a follower's girlfriend.[87] He likewise recommended polygamy or polyamory to some followers.

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...1986.E2.80.932006.29

Da called this "crazy wisdom" to help loosen up his followers.

He also made the rounds through the years through Siddha Yoga (Muktananda's disciple), Scientology, and he even toured the Marian holy sites, where he reported powerful experiences of Mary, which he later interpreted as peculiar manifestations of kundalini shakti (had to bring it back into an Eastern paradigm). On several occasions, he reported dying and rising from the dead in his body; when he finally did die in 2008, his followers eagerly awaited his resurrection, which didn't happen, of course.

Note on Da's website the reference to our life being like a dream -- same metaphor used by Wilber (not unique to either, of course). Wilber's teaching on spirituality and enlightenment has been strongly influenced by Adi Da.
 
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Hi, Christine!

Nice to hear from you. You’d written: (in your post of 26 Mar 8:32 AM)

“ the thing is.. Wilbur represents much of what IS the new religion today...”

Here you may well be right, but such ‘new religion’ is not the religion of Christians. And KW, methinks, would not dispute his having no allegiance to Christianity per se.

What kind of boggles my mind and occasioned my brief post was that the stated focus of the Philothea website (a vision statement I had no personal input in formulating and yet nonetheless I find to be a noble enough vision statement) is: “the First Great Commandment and the promoting of the love of God”. And I find nothing in KW and his Integral Life website nor in the discussion posts on this forum thread that (imo -- which perhaps is a consequence of my blue-meme clan simplicity) promotes the love of God nor supports the first Great Commandment as Jesus pointed our attention to and which is quoted of Jesus in the website’s focus statement.

To me, the music goes round and round and it comes out BLAH (or blather)! Why the need to open one’s ears to the hemlock of whackery? Where is the wisdom of Jesus in all of this? ...Jesus who praised His Father for hiding wisdom from the learned. Jesus whom Christians hold to be the ultimate in wisdom.

Is this an NT temperament thing or is this a yellow-meme thing -- or some synergistic combination of the two? KW fancies himself an integral fellow, and I realize that I would be summarily chastened here at SP were I to imply that yellow-meme clan folk are not in fact a creamier and thereby richer element floating at the top of the meme pool.

But, to me anyway (layers down) it ain’t necessarily so, that all things yellow-meme are rich and tasty. It’s possible to be fooled. Some on occasion seem to mistake (imo anyway) pus for custard. (I don’t say all do, but I do say some do; evidently, some do). And the texture and the color have some similarities after all.

In the presence of a slick salesman with a keen intellect, people impressed by intellect (a wonderful thing in itself) despite an initial hesitation in the tasting can be seen to withdraw a wet forefinger from between pursed lips and point out a noticeable difference in the taste. Yet they continue their tasting. [Btw, people are impressed by intellect. And some are intimidated by intellect.]

“Ah,” explains the salesman at Integral Life, “what you are tasting are the spiritual probiotics and antioxidants that are newly enhanced additives now available in the third millennium; heretofore unknown and unavailable to adherents of the ‘old time religion’”

“Ah! I see! Interesting! Indeed, quite interesting. A different taste, most certainly!”

“It has a kind of cosmic flavor.” “Can you pick it out?”


“Yes.” “Definitely!” “What do you call this stuff?”

“Pustard!”

C’mon, Pop! (Give us a break, here).

OK, OK.

Anyway, Christine, regarding online chatting with Shasha and you – I’ve never done online chat, nor tweeted nor been to facebook. I have experience with PMs here at SP and normal email. I am open to these and facile at these. Please don’t feel I’ve snubbed you or Shasha re online chat.

Probably there is little else that needs saying anymore anyway. KW does nothing for me, and it still being a free country (for awhile anyway) that’s fine -- as he never had to dance for me either.

Anyway, it looks like you and I and Shasha are on the same page opinionwise re KW and the fruit of his teachings for Christian consumption.

Pop-pop
 
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Anyway, it looks like you and I and Shasha are on the same page opinionwise re KW and the fruit of his teachings for Christian consumption.


yepSmiler

good to see you too popsSmiler.. still haven't connected with Shasha and online chat...would love to talk with you and her at sometimeSmiler tis good keepin in touchSmiler much love to all.. christine
 
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