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Ken Wilber - Einstein of Psychology Login/Join
 
posted
Phil
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Member # 1

posted 07-12-2002 09:15 AM
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Nice going, priya!

Now the next step would be for you to copy what you wrote about that book by Wilber (I don't remember the title), then start a new thread on "Books by Ken Wilber" or something like that. Use the New Topic button at the top of this page to do so. If we leave it in this thread on books by Gerald May, it might get lost.
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Posts: 744 | From: Wichita, KS | Registered: Aug 2001 | IP: Logged
 
Posts: 158 | Registered: 14 February 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is not a real review. I'm sharing a few personal thoughts at Phil's advice, without going through the book again.

Grace and Grit (Mut und Gnade) by Ken Wilber:

I think those of us who don't expect to get out of this world alive ought to read it.

The book is a summary of his insights into psychology woven around his personal life. It is a very moving account in which he and his wife talk about their love, her struggles in dealing with breast cancer, his struggles in coping with it and finally her death. He has decribed his vulnerability and struggles(so has she) as a human being in the same heart-rending honest way that Gandhi has in his autobiography.

Can you imagine that the Einstein of psychology needed therapy to cope with his problems in his relationship - while she was battling with cancer and the utmost he was doing for her didn't seen to help because the Einstein of psychology was trying to do it all his way and expecting the impossible from himself and her?

As far as his spiritual views are concerned, he talks primarily as a Tibetan Buddhist. But there is much any Christian can learn, although as a Christian we may not agree with everything he says. What I found most inspiring was for instance the way he, after spending a few hours in meditation and prayers in the morning, devoted the rest of the day to living an ordinary life of holiness - attending to the ordinary needs of his suffering wife.

The Einstein of psychology seemed to me a bit naive sometimes. What I remember particulary was his mention of a gift they gave to the director of the Klinik in Germany where his wife went for treatment. It was some small instrument (to check blood glucose I think) that his wife had used. Imagine to give that to a director of a huge Klinik in Germany and imagine that it was a special gift!

The other thing that as a Christian one has problems dealing with (perhaps if I had been a traditional Catholic totally into saint worship, I might have less problems with it) is the worship status that his wife has been given after her death although I can fully understand his personal grief and dedication to the memory of their love.

She is beyond all doubt an inspiration to those who struggle with terminal illness - the way she handled her disease, her courage to face death but not before like Jesus crying out "If it be possible, take this cup of suffering away from me". She was not perfect like Jesus was of course, she was more vulnerable as a human being. Her greatness is also that she tried to help those who were suffering, even while she was suffering and struggling with her own illness.

Truly they are a model couple. Ken Wilber does deserve being compared to Einstein.
 
Posts: 158 | Registered: 14 February 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I, too, have enjoyed Wilber's writings, although I much prefer the transpersonal psychology of Michael Washburn. Wilber's work suggests some sort of terminus in a state of non-personal, non-relational enlightenment and tends to view relational spirituality as but a steppingstone unto that higher state. Of course, his being a Buddhist-type wouldn't have anything to do with that, eh? Wink
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have enjoyed Quantum Questions
Mystical Writings of the World's Greatest Physicists and find Wilber to be one of the foremost integrative thinkers of our time. I have little trouble reconciling him with ideas of Aquinas, Aristotle, Bohm, Sheldrake, et al

pax,
jb
 
Posts: 2881 | Registered: 25 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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JB wrote:
Mystical Writings of the World's Greatest Physicists and find Wilber to be one of the foremost integrative thinkers of our time. I have little trouble reconciling him with ideas of Aquinas, Aristotle, Bohm, Sheldrake, et al

I'm glad you're a Wilber admirer like me. Only I wonder how he and Sheldrake got listed among physicists. Wilber if I remember right studied Biochemistry or something before reading up psychology on his own. Sheldrake I know for sure is a biologist. I met him when he conducted a public discussion with Fr. Bede Griffiths in Germany.

Phil

I understand the problem involved in reconciling all of Wilber's idea as a Christian. His spiritual views are primarily that of a Tibetan Buddhist to be sure. As answer to that I like to remind all that the Bhagavadgita was written AFTER the Upanishads. Obviously the nameless, formless God of the Upanishads did not appeal to the ordinary man, so the personal God of Bhagavadgita had to come. Vivekananda, the greatest representative of Hinduism that the world has known, said that it is easier to talk to the elephants if one goes to them as an elephant. So the God of the Bhagavadgita has a human form. Aren't we lucky as Christians that we don't face the dilemma of the Jews, Muslims, Buddhists - we have a God who took the human form and told us that He was God from the beginning, without leaving us to guess things for ourselves!
 
Posts: 158 | Registered: 14 February 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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JB wrote:
Mystical Writings of the World's Greatest Physicists and find Wilber to be one of the foremost integrative thinkers of our time. I have little trouble reconciling him with ideas of Aquinas, Aristotle, Bohm, Sheldrake, et al
+++ +++ +++ +++ +++

I'm glad you're a Wilber admirer like me. Only I wonder how he and Sheldrake got listed among physicists. Wilber if I remember right studied Biochemistry or something before reading up psychology on his own. Sheldrake I know for sure is a biologist. I met him when he conducted a public discussion with Fr. Bede Griffiths in Germany. from Priya

Yes, Priya - right you are on all counts.

Wilber edited and wrote the book and the complete name of the book is: Quantum Questions Mystical Writings of the World's Greatest Physicists , so that explains Wilber. As for Aquinas, Aristotle and Sheldrake (the biologist) ... they're just other personal favorites of mine Cool

pax,
jb
 
Posts: 2881 | Registered: 25 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Fr. Bede Griffiths talked repeatedly about God being totally imminent and totally transcedental. The God in whom we live, move and have our being and the God about whom we can at best only say 'Neti, Neti', the Sanskrit for 'not this, not this.' I suppose that covers the God of the Old Testament, the God of the Upanishads and Vedanta, the Allah of the Muslims and the Ultimate Reality of the Buddhists and all the personal Gods and nature worship.

Even those who staunchly believe only in the totally transcedental God, must admit that it is impossible to feel that presence even a little bit without a relationship - the seeker who seeks the Ultimate reality with wholehearted devotion, whether it is through simple devotion or years of intense meditation.

For me as a Christian, it means simply that I have access to the transcental God, the Father, through Jesus Christ, my personal God. And of course God is manifest everywhere in His creation. The experience of God is impossible without a relationship. The personal God, Jesus takes me by the shortest and quickest way to the transcedental God.
 
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